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From the old house to Abraham. Irvin's 
south °8miUs and 312 poles, from the some 
place north to Jtobt Boyd : II miles and 

20 mi and 6poles total N-S 
/if poles 

'i 2 mi 22 poles 
/mi. & //poles north of the old house 
is the center N-S 

From a mile north, of the old house to John. Dobbins 
•Smiles and 90 poles , from the same place west 
to Alen Alexander = 12 miles /SS poles 

* a - so • 
Total 10 mi. U 8 poles 
'/20mi ZUS poles 

10 ■■ Ilk " 
- 8 ■■ 90 ■ 
2 mi 34 poles west of one mtl£ and llpoles 
north of the old house is the center of the congregation 

From the 'Meeting House' follow the dolled line north till it 
crosses the east -west line, then follow the west dotted line 
two miles and thirty- four poles and you arrive at the 
center of the congregation . 

(At the 'Meeting House' Slatesville was located in 1790, The Court House 
' of Trtdell County NC) 











The Story of the 
First Presbyterian Church, Statesville 


Henry Middleton Raynal 

Copyright © 1995 

First Presbyterian Church 

125 N. Meeting St. 

Statesville, NC 28677 

(704) 873-7244 

Library of Congress Catalog # 94-62086 

Printed in USA 


Delmar Printing Co. 

Charlotte, NC 




my two Pastors, 

Charles Edward Raynal 


Neill Roderick McGeachy 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2012 with funding from 
e of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, ; 

! : oldfourthcreekcoOOrayn 

Table of Contents 

Chapter 1 The Land and First Settlers 1 

Chapter 2 The Scotch-Irish People 9 

Chapter 3 Emigration to America 17 

Chapter 4 Settlement of Carolina 25 

Into the Yadkin-Catawba Region 

Chapter 5 John Thompson 35 

And Other Early Missionaries 

Chapter 6 French and Indian Wars 45 

The First Building 

Chapter 7 Fourth Creek Church Organized 55 

The Sharpe Map 

Chapter 8 First Pastor James Hall (1778 f.f.) 65 

American Revolution 

Chapter 9 James Hall and Education 77 

Chapter 10 Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson (1793 f.f.) 91 

The Great Revival 

Chapter 11 Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 103 

Daniel Gould (1823 f.f.) and the Bible Cause 
Robert Caldwell (1829 f.f.) 

Zhapter 12 Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 115 

Chapter 13 Pastorates of Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 127 

Growth Through a Time of National Tension and Division 

Zhapter 14 Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. (1869 f.f.) 141 

The Second Brick Building 


Chapter 15 Expansion and Change 153 

The Third Brick Building 

Chapter 16 Pastor Charles M. Richards (1900 f.f.) 165 

Into the 20th Century 

Chapter 17 Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. (1909 f.f.) 177 

World War I 

Chapter 18 The 1924 Building 191 

The Casavant Organ 

Chapter 19 The Depression and World War II 207 

Chapter 20 Pastor Neill R. McGeachy (1945 f.f.) 229 

200th Anniversary Celebration 

Chapter 21 The Development Program 255 

Forest Park Church, Sanctuary Renovation 

Chapter 22 The Bicentennial 275 

McGeachy Educational Building 

Chapter 23 Pastor J. Layton Mauze (1971 f.f.) 301 

New Directions of Service 

Chapter 24 Outreach to Church and Community 319 

Epilogue Message from Pastor Grant Sharp (1983 f.f.) 339 

225th Anniversary Celebration of Events 

Resolution Honoring the 225th Anniversary Committee 341 

Appendices A — Ministers 345 

B — Elders 346 

C — Deacons 349 

D — Honorary Life Members 

Women of the Church 353 

E — Wartime Military Service 356 

Bibliography 362 



Pastor Henry Middleton Raynal 

Fourth Creek Burying Ground 



As the committee appointed by the Session began planning for the 
1989 celebration of the 225th Anniversary of our beloved church, it 
became apparent that we needed a written history. Every member of 
the group agreed that this was an important goal to pursue, and, as we 
explored the possibility of this becoming a reality, Mrs. David 
Andrews offered a generous gift for encouragement. "Who could we 
secure to chronicle this history?", we wondered. In discussing a 
prospective author, and the qualifications he would need to capture 
the essence of First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, our immediate 
thought was the Raynal sons. We asked Henry Middleton Raynal to 
undertake the research and the writing of a book. He expressed gen- 
uine interest in our proposal, but said that he could not undertake the 
work as long as he was the full time pastor of a church. If we still want- 
ed him to write the history, he would be glad to engage in it after his 
retirement from the active pastorate the following year. We were so 
pleased with his acceptance that we willingly waited the year. 

It was decided that we should provide a word processor to help the 
author with this monumental task. Mr. Raynal moved to Lexington, 
Virginia in 1990 and has been researching and writing since that time. 
Keeping in touch with the History Committee, he has made frequent 
trips to Statesville, spending hours in our Heritage Room pouring over 
Session and Diaconate records. He has traveled to Montreat to use the 
Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Study Center, to the libraries of 
Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, as 
well as to the court houses of the counties which included Fourth Creek 
Congregation before the establishment of Iredell County. 

Mr. Raynal is a son of Margaret Scott and Dr. Charles Edward Ray- 
nal, who for thirty-five years served this church faithfully as pastor. 
Middy, as he is affectionately known to us, was born in Statesville and 
attended city schools. He studied at Davidson College, and, upon 
graduation, entered Union Theological Seminary, graduating there in 
1950. He was ordained by Winchester Presbytery and served church- 
es in West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia during his forty years' 
ministry in the Presbyterian Church. 


It has been evident to us that this history writing by Mr. Raynal has 
been a labor of love. His interest in The Fourth Creek Congregation 
and The First Presbyterian Church and his first-hand knowledge of the 
church during the years he lived in Statesville (1924-1950) have com- 
bined to make this book interesting and entertaining for the reader. 
The author has clearly shown his love and affection for us, and we are 
most grateful for his willingness to undertake this work, his cheerful- 
ness in working with our committee, and his dedication in four years' 
service compiling this long hoped-for history. 


Frances Hamilton McGeachy 
Secretary, 225th Anniversary Committee 
August 1994 

;, M 





i n « • ■ — — — 

Presbyterian. Estabr 
lishedca. 1750; on this 
site by 1756. The Rev. 
James Hall first regu* 
lar minister. 



Chapter One 

The Land and First Settlers 

When we think of the American frontier as it was first seen by 
the pioneers moving west from the older settlements seek- 
ing places where they could establish new homes, we usu- 
ally have the picture of a trackless, unending forest filled with danger 
from wild animals and the constant threat of Indian attack. Undoubt- 
edly there were places on this continent where that picture would be 
a true one, but it was not so in the region of the Carolina Piedmont 
where the story now to be told is situated. 

The earliest description which we have of the Carolina Piedmont 
comes from the writing of John Lawson, who made an extensive trip 
through the back country of North Carolina in 1702 and in 1709 pub- 
lished A History of North Carolina. His report was more a detailed 
recounting of his journey than it was a tracing of the historical events 
which had occurred since the first settlement on Roanoke Island in 
1585. Lawson made a trip which carried him from Charleston up 
country between the Pee Dee (Yadkin) and the Santee (Wa- 
teree/ Catawba) Rivers into the Piedmont of North Carolina before 
turning eastward to Pamlico Sound. He told of the country, the Native 
American tribes he encountered, and the wildlife he observed. Rather 
than a primal forest Lawson found the Piedmont area to be largely 
open "pleasant savanna ground, high and dry, having very few trees 
which are very short, and stand at a great distance from one another." 1 
Lawson spent a time with the Catawba Indians and then moved 
north until he came to Sapona Town on what he calls the Sapona River 
where he stayed some days. From the descriptions he gives, Sapona 
can be identified as the Indian village along the Yadkin River near 
what came to be known as the "Trading Ford", about six miles north 
of the present location of Salisbury. He reports, "... we passed over a 
delicious country — none that I ever saw exceeds it. We saw fine- 
bladed grass six feet high along the banks of the rivulets. ... we 
reached the fertile and pleasant banks of the Sapona (Yadkin) River . . . 


nor could all Europe afford a pleasanter stream, were it inhabited by 
Christians and cultivated by ingenious hands. . . . Nor can anything be 
desired by a contented mind as to a pleasant situation but what may 
be found here, every step presenting some new object which still adds 
invitation to the traveler in these parts." 2 

Perhaps John Lawson's description of the area between the Cataw- 
ba and Yadkin rivers was known by some of the earliest settlers mov- 
ing into what they referred to as a "Mesopotamia" in the 1740s. The 
noted Presbyterian historian William Henry Foote writing in the early 
1840s says: "Emigration was encouraged and directed very much in 
its earliest period, by the vast prairies, with pea-vine grass and cane 
brakes, which stretched across the States of Virginia and Carolina. 
There are large forests now in these two states, where, a hundred 
years ago, not a tree, and scarce a shrub could be seen. These prairies 
abounded with game, and supplied abundant pasturage, both winter 
and summer, for the various kinds of stock that accompanied the emi- 
grants, and formed for years no small share of their wealth." 3 

In places along the streams, there were some trees. In other places 
in his account, Lawson tells of trees at water's edge which were so tall 
that the ones in his party could not kill turkeys resting on the upper 
branches. In his History of Rowan County, Jethro Rumple tells of hav- 
ing interviewed an elderly gentleman, who reported that his father 
had told him that when he settled there about 1750, there were no 
forests and he had hauled the logs to build his first house more than a 
mile. Rumple also tells of talking to "an honored citizen of Iredell" 
who told him, "He recollected the time when the highlands between 
Fourth Creek and Third Creek were open prairies, covered with grass 
and wild peavines, and that the wild deer would mingle with their 
herds of cattle as they grazed." 4 

In addition to the deer, the land teemed with wildlife. The eastern 
buffalo was common. (Thus the frequent use of the word in naming 
localities still observed — i.e. Buffalo Creek, Buffalo Church, Buffalo 
community, etc.) This buffalo was smaller than the buffalo of the West- 
ern plains, but was valued by the Indians for its hide and as a source 
of meat. It became a prime target of the settlers and was hunted to 
extinction before the American Revolution. In 1733, "A New and Cor- 
rect Map of the Province of North Carolina" by Edward Moseley was 
published. On this map, which was used as the chief resource on 
North Carolina by map makers until 1800, the rivers are drawn in 
with reasonable accuracy. There is indication of the mountains to the 

The Land and First Settlers 

west, but most of the coastal plain and the piedmont are featureless. 
Printed across this open area is the following paragraph: 

"This country abounds with Elks & Buffaloes, at the distance of about 
150 miles from the sea. The whole affords plenty of Deer, Swine, Bever, 
wild Cows and Horses, also Turkeys, Partridges and all sorts of water- 
fowl with abundant swans. The Rivers and Seacoasts are well stored 
with fish of all kinds especially sturgeon. The soil is naturally fertile, 
producing plenty of Peaches, Plumbs, Apples, Pears, and other deli- 
cious fruits and eatables without art or expense ..." 5 

The land was largely free of settlement when the first emigrants 
moved in. It was part of the territory claimed by the Catawba Indians, 
but their chief village was near the Catawba river just below the South 
Carolina line. The open prairies were primarily hunting grounds to 
them. A short time after Lawson's visit, the Sapona Indians, reduced 
in numbers by incursions of the more warlike northern tribes - the 
Iroquois, had moved to Virginia and settled about 10 miles north of 
Roanoke where they formed a confederation with several of the small- 
er tribes in that territory. While they were there, the Governor of Vir- 
ginia, Colonel Spotswood, provided them with a school teacher to 
instruct their children. After about 25 years, they returned to Carolina 
where they joined themselves to the Catawbas, another tribe of the 
Eastern Sioux family. 

The Catawbas had been an important people. At their peak they 
probably had between four thousand and five thousand souls with 
twelve to fifteen hundred warriors. But smallpox and intertribal war- 
fare had reduced their number to the point that when the first enu- 
meration of them was made in 1743, about the time the first settlers 
were moving in, their number of fighting men had been reduced to 
only about four hundred. By 1809 the tribe could count only two hun- 
dred living on a reservation beside the Catawba River. 

To the west were the Cherokees whose villages were spread 
through the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina 
and Alabama. They were of the Iroquoian family and were the largest 
and most powerful of the southeastern Indian tribes. Their settlements 
began in the foothills and were spread all through the Appalachian 
mountains where they farmed and hunted. The Cherokees came to 
dominate in the fur trade in the years which followed. Recognizing 
their important position, George Burrington, who had served a brief 
term as governor under the Proprietors (1724-25), was appointed 
Royal Governor by George I in 1730 and sent an expedition to estab- 


lish peace with the Cherokees. They crossed the mountains and made 
a treaty with the Indians in 1734. One result of this treaty was that 
for the next twenty years there was little opposition from the Chero- 
kees as the first immigrants moved into the Piedmont region of North 

It was in the 1740s that the first settlers moved into the area between 
the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. After John Lawson's 1702 journey, 
there were a number of other explorers who passed through this land, 
both from the settlements in the eastern Carolinas and from Virginia. 
The authorization by Governor Burrington of the expedition to the 
Cherokees in the early 1730s indicates that there was a level of fami- 
larity with the country even beyond the claim of the Catawbas, which 
included the headwaters of the Catawba river up to near the present 
site of Old Fort. 

We do not have records of who the first brave souls were that chose 
homesites in the Carolina Piedmont. We can infer their coming from 
what we know of the settlements to the north and the east, which pre- 
ceded them, the hunger for land of the vast number of immigrants 
arriving from across the Atlantic, and from the acts of the Assembly 
establishing new counties as the population grew. 

There had been earlier attempts to settle North Carolina, beginning 
with the ill-fated "Lost Colony" on Roanoke Island, but the growth 
had not kept pace with other colonies like Virginia, Massachusetts, 
and Pennsylvania. Most of the earliest residents were ones who had 
moved into the uninhabited land from the other colonies. They were 
former indentured servants or poor whites, who had felt their best 
chance was to get away from the land grants and developing aristoc- 
racy in their first places of residence in the new world. By 1700, the 
estimated population of what became North Carolina was only 7,000 
compared with Massachusetts' 80,000 and Virginia's 55,000. Almost 
all of these were located within fifty miles of the coast. 

King Charles II had been concerned for the growth of the American 
colonies. Six of the thirteen original States were founded in his reign. 
A group of eight promoters and politicians applied for a grant of the 
territory south of Virginia, named Carolina for Queen Caroline, as a 
provincial province with the Proprietors designated by the king. He 
approved their request and in 1663 signed the Carolina Charter, giv- 
ing them a grant of the land from the southern border of Virginia 
south, as far as the English claim extended, and reaching from coast 
to coast. The proprietors did appoint Governors and made attempts 

The Land and First Settlers 

to promote settlement but with minimal results. The failure of their 
expectation of profit from their grant and opposition to their repre- 
sentatives by the colonists who had moved into Carolina led them to 
return their claim to the crown. In 1729, with the approval of Parlia- 
ment, seven of the eight proprietors surrendered their shares for 2,500 
pounds sterling each. One of the eight, the Earl of Granville, still held 
his claim. The land was divided into two royal provinces, North Car- 
olina and South Carolina. A commission was named which in 1743 
laid out one eighth of the land as the Granville Grant. Granville's ter- 
ritory extended from the Virginia line on the north to latitude 35° 34" 
on the south, and from the Atlantic on the east to the unexplored 
ocean on the west. The southern limit became the boundary of Rowan 
County when it was set off from Anson (1753) and thus of Iredell 
County when it was erected (1788). Establishment of the Granville 
Grant was important to the story told here because the land which 
became Fourth Creek Community and then Statesville was a part of 

There were already a few scattered settlers, who had moved into 
the great "prairies" between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers, and built 
cabins before Granville made a concerted effort to promote his up- 
country land to prospective immigrants. We do not have names or the 
precise locations they had moved into but by 1749, when Anson 
County was established, some were already settled in what was to 
become Iredell County. 

Granville was fortunate, or perhaps the persons he had named to 
represent him on the commission to lay out his share were wise in 
selecting the northern part of Carolina for Lord Granville's claim. 
Being nearest to the areas where population was already growing, it 
had good prospect for a boom in population. The timing was also for- 
tunate because the claim was settled just a few years before the great 
migration of the Scotch-Irish, who were to be the main body of settlers 
in the upcountry. The agents of his lordship had much to offer to those 
seeking a place to secure for their own. The almost uninhabited upper 
country was publicized for its beauty and healthiness, the fertility of 
the soil, and the low rates for which land could be secured. 

Profits to the claim holder were secured by sale of the property and 
by quitrents, payable to him annually. As a part of getting title to a 
piece of land the owner paid the agreed price and committed himself 
to annual payments of rent to the claim holder from whom he had 
purchased his land. Quitrents were exceedingly unpopular and were 


certainly one of the factors which drove a wedge between the colonists 
and the Motherland. Often the settlers found places to establish 
homes, built cabins and lived in them for years before ever registering 
their claim to avoid having to pay the rent. 

A record in the minutes of the Governor's Council meeting in New 
Bern in 1751 shows something of the difficulty that was met in secur- 
ing the payment of quitrents. It is recorded that 

"The Secretary represented to his Excellency and the Council that great 
numbers of people who have petitioned for land have never taken out 
warrents for surveying the same in pursuit of their Petitions and in 
Order to obtain a Title and that divers others who have taken out War- 
rents have nevertheless neglected to have their lands admeasured and 
return thereof made into the Secretary's office, and that others again 
who have obtained grants in consequence of warrents surveyed and 
returned have for many years neglected to take out Patents thereby 
eluding the payments not only of the fees due to the several officers 
thereof but also of his Majesties Quit Rents." 6 

The Council ordered that warrantees take out their patents within 
eight months or forfeit right and title to the land. Many of those living 
on Granville's land for years without legal title were among those 
who responded quickly to legalize their claims. In 1749 and 1750 
about thirty land warrents were granted for persons settling on Lord 
Granville's land between the Yadkin and the Catawba. Robert Ram- 
sey's detailed study of the Carolina frontier before the American Rev- 
olution, Carolina Cradle states: "Thus, before the end of 1751, the total 
number of identifiable inhabitants (most of them heads of families) of 
Granville's domain between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers may be 
conservatively placed at eighty two." 7 

The earliest settlers coming into Carolina were English who found- 
ed communities near the coast. In 1710 the proprietors had attracted 
Baron Graffenried, who brought over a thousand German and Swiss 
settlers who established the town of New Bern. There were groups 
of Quakers, who came from Virginia after facing opposition in that 
colony from the Established Church when laws were passed against 
their sect. The frontier became safer for settlement after the Tuscaro- 
ra Indians moved to New York State about 1720. The back country 
became attractive to those seeking land for their new homes. The 
major groups that came in were from Pennsylvania, the Germans and 
the Scotch-Irish. 

The Land and First Settlers 

Footnotes to Chapter I 

1. John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of 

that Country Together with the Present State thereof: (1709 - London) p. 80 

2. Ibid, pp. 82-83 

3. William Henry Foote, Sketches of North Carolina: (1846 - New York) p. 79 

4. Jethro Rumple, A History of Rowan County, North Carolina: (1881 - Salisbury, N.C.) p. 29 

5. William P. Cummings, The Southeastern Early Maps: (1962 - Chapel Hill) Plate 52 & p. 101 

6. Robert M. Ramsey, Carolina Cradle, Northwest Carolina Frontier, 1747-1762: (1964 -Chapel Hill) 

p. 63 

7. Ibid, p. 25 

First Presbyterian Church celebrates its 200th Anniversary 

September 13, 1953 

Dress rehearsal for the 1953 Pageant celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the founding of 

Fourth Creek congregation, with Max Tharpe setting up a publicity shot for the newspaper. 


Map of Fourth Creek Congregation 

By William Sharpe, Esq. 

The historic old map that is reproduced herein is an unique document of the early days 
of this church and community. It gives a glimpse of the society of these times. 

The familiar creeks and rivers are shown: Third, Fourth, Fifth, South Yadkin, Rocky, 
Snow. The homes of the pioneer families are located and identified by name. Descendents of 
these early settlers still live in and about Statesville, and a number belong to First Church. 
The map shows that most of the early homesteads were located along the watercourses, 
where the tillage would have been best. There was no town to be the focal point of the com- 
munity in those days; the heart and hub and center was Fourth Creek Church. 

Chapter Two 

The Scotch-Irish People 

The large majority of the people who moved in and found their 
homes in the back country, all the way from Pennsylvania 
through Virginia, Carolina and on into Georgia, were the folk 
known as Scotch-Irish. They are of particular importance for this 
study because they were the first settlers in the territory between the 
Yadkin and Catawba rivers, and, as they came, they brought their 
Presbyterian heritage and beliefs with them. These were the settlers 
who founded what was to become the Statesville First Presbyterian 

To understand this people, it is necessary to recall something of 
who they were and how they came here. After James VI of Scotland 
was crowned as James I of Great Britain in 1603, he promoted the set- 
tlement of colonies of Scotch and English families in the the North of 
Ireland. His goal was to install a substantial number of Protestant res- 
idents who would be loyal to the crown and would influence the Irish, 
who still held religious allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. 
Land, which had come under his control after rebellions in the six 
counties of Ulster, was offered to those who were loyal to the king or 
had served him as military officers. One condition of receiving these 
grants was to build substantial houses and "bawns". Abawn was a 
fortified "enclosure with towers at the angles, within which was 
placed the cattle." Those who received the larger grants "were 
required to plant a proportional number of English or Scottish fami- 
lies on their possessions, and to have their homes furnished with a 
sufficiency of arms." 1 The King's counselors hoped that these new 
inhabitants would help calm the rebellious spirit of the Irish in their 
opposition to the British crown, stimulate industry by raising sheep 
and flax, and serve to disseminate the Reformed faith. Smaller grants 
were made to "Natives". This group were Irish gentry, who had been 
or might be of service to the government. They were allowed to have 
tenants also, expected to be native Irish Catholics. 


By 1610, the lands began to be occupied. Major grants had been 
offered to London merchant companies, and they secured emigrants, 
both from the greatly overcrowded city and from others who saw this 
as an opportunity to gain land of their own. The English settled in the 
southern and western parts of Ulster. The original goal had been to 
have the "Ulster Plantation" occupied largely by English, but two fac- 
tors held down the number of English settlers willing to move into the 
newly available land. For one thing, the business community, to 
whom substantial grants had been made, were distracted by the hope 
for larger profit to be gained from colonies in America. This interest is 
shown in the establishment of the colony at Jamestown in 1607. The 
second reason for the lessened response by the English is shown in the 
writing of the Rev. Andrew Steward. In 1727, reporting the settlement 
of the English and Scots in Northern Ireland, he wrote: 

"Of the English not many came over, for it is to be observed that 
being a great deal more tenderly bred at home in England, and enter- 
tained in better quarters than they could find in Ireland, they were 
unwilling to flock thither, except to good land, such as they had 
before at home, or in good cities where they might trade; both of 
which, in those days, were scarce enough here. Besides that the 
marshiness and fogginess of this island were still found unwhole- 
some to English bodies." 2 

Response from the Scots however was far above expectation. Scot- 
land was both crowded and impoverished. Conditions for many of 
the people were virtually unchanged from the Middle Ages. Land was 
dear, and the younger sons of the family had little prospect of secur- 
ing places for themselves. Since English settlers were not attracted in 
the hoped for numbers, the Privy Council of Scotland was notified 
that the King "out of his unspeakable love and tender affection for his 
Scottish subjects, had decided that they would be allowed participa- 
tion." It was pointed out that the Scots would have a great advantage 
since they "lie so near to that coast of Ulster" that they could easily 
transport thither both their men and livestock." 3 

As soon as the opportunity was made public, there was a rush of 
those willing to transport to Ireland. By 1611, 81,000 acres had been 
granted to Scotsmen. It was from this people that, one hundred years 
later, the immigration would come which filled the back country of 
America with Scots from the north of Ireland, who came to be called 
the "Scotch-Irish". 

Before Scotland and England were united into Great Britain under 

The Scotch-Irish People 11 

James I (James VI of Scotland), the Church of Scotland had been Pres- 
byterian since the days of John Knox (1505-1572). In the union, they 
held on to their religious conviction and fought the Kings' efforts to 
have them conform to the Church of England (Episcopal), accept Bish- 
ops over the Scottish churches, and adopt the "Book of Common 
Prayer" of the Church of England. This was only one part of the con- 
tinuing religious conflict that extended through the 17th century. At 
times the rulers sought to extend the liturgy and polity of the Church 
of England into Scotland and Ireland. Others were inclined to desire 
Roman Catholic restoration, and there was the period of the Com- 
monwealth under the Cromwells who were strongly Puritan. Some- 
times the conflicts were extreme and bloody. As a result of these dis- 
turbances, the first Scots left Britain to establish lives in America. 
Settlements of Scotch people were founded in eastern Carolina, Vir- 
ginia and New England. 

Despite the bitterness which was displayed in this century of con- 
flict, there were events which were important in the development of 
Presbyterianism and have influence even today. Affecting all English 
speaking people was the 1611 publication of the authorized version 
of the Bible dedicated to the king, which we know as the King James 
Version. While Charles I was king, the Parliament convened the West- 
minster Assembly of Divines, which included churchmen from both 
England and Scotland. Participants were named from the Church of 
England but they declined to participate. Some were Independents but 
the strong majority were Presbyterian. After a years work, in 1644 they 
completed the "Directory of Government, Worship and Discipline" 
which aimed at bringing unity to the church throughout Britain. They 
continued their work for four more years, resulting in the Westminster 
Confession of Faith, the Larger and the Shorter Catechisms. In hope of 
achieving religious unity in the two realms, the Scottish General 
Assembly and Parliament adopted the two documents. The Directo- 
ry, the Confession and the Catechisms continue today as basic parts 
of the belief and practice of the Presbyterian Church as it exists in Great 
Britain, was brought to America, and has spread around the world. 
Except for the period of the Cromwellian Protectorate the Episcopal 
form was dominant as the Church of England. The crown and parlia- 
ment made repeated attempts to have Scotland and Ireland to conform, 
but they continued faithful to the Westminster standards. 

Life for the inhabitants of Ulster was hard. The native Irish, strong 
Roman Catholics, resented the English and Scottish settlers. There 


were repeated conflicts, notably the revolt of 1641 in which many of 
the immigrants were massacred. Scotland, still feeling ties to her sons 
who had immigrated to Ireland, sent 10,000 troops to their support. 
Most of the ministers, both English and Scot had been killed or forced 
to flee. When the revolt was over, the only Protestant ministers left in 
Ulster were the chaplains of the Scottish troops. The Scots were 
unusually religious for soldiers. Each regiment was organized as a 
congregation with a session composed of the chaplain and soldier- 
elders. The first presbytery in Ireland was organized out of these reg- 
imental congregations. Before long, civilian clergymen came over 
from Scotland, and by 1660 there were "not less than 70 ministers reg- 
ularly and permanently settled, and having under their charge near- 
ly eighty congregations" with about 100,000 members in Ulster." 4 

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland grew in spite of continued 
opposition, both from the native Irish Roman Catholics and from the 
Kings who sought to have them conform. The work of those early 
ministers was met with outstanding success. Speaking of them Foote 
says: "Their influence was first seen in a reformation of manners and 
a devout attention to religion; and led, under the blessing of God, to a 
revival of religion, which spread over a large part of the counties of 
Down and Antrim, and is one of the most signal on record in the 
Protestant Church." 5 The revival spread all through the Ulster Plan- 
tation. Word of the revival got back to Scotland, and a number of min- 
isters went over to take part. In the days which followed, they built 
the foundation for the establishment of the Irish Presbyterian Church. 
Though few of the first Scotish immigrants to North Ireland were 
strongly religious, the influence of the revivals called them back to 
their Presbyterian heritage from Scotland, and they rejected the 
crown's attempts to have Ireland unite under the Established Church. 
Those holding to the Presbyterian faith were harassed repeatedly. 
They were required to pay taxes which went to support of the estab- 
lished Church of Ireland, though they declined to be a part of that 
body and made additional gifts for the support of their own churches 
and ministers. Repeatedly Presbyterian ministers were turned out of 
their pulpits. The legality of marriages they performed was denied. 
James Leyburn speaks of the situation: 

"In some parts of Ulster the people were not permitted to bury their 
dead unless an Episcopalian officiated at the funeral and read the ser- 
vice of his Church. . . . Children could no longer be taught by tutors of 
the Presbyterian faith, for all dissenters were barred from teaching 

The Scotch-Irish People 13 

school.... It was announced that all Protestants not married by rites of 
the Established Church should be regarded as bastards..." 6 

Additional causes led to discontent on part of the Scotch-Irish. 
Laws limiting Irish trade became more and more restrictive. In 1666 
Parliament passed a prohibition of export to England of Irish cattle 
and provisions. This limitation was not greatly felt because there was 
a rapid development and growth of woolen and linen manufacture in 
the last third of the 17th century, bringing prosperity to Northern Ire- 
land. English cloth interests became disturbed at the competition and 
influenced the King to have the Irish Parliament in 1699 prohibit the 
export of wool and linen to any place except England and Wales. In 
addition, commercial interests in England became concerned that Irish 
enterprise would interfere with English trade. The American colonies 
were counted as English colonies, and they held that Ireland had no 
right to participate in colonial trade. Being nearer to America, Ireland 
would have an advantage over English shippers. Laws were passed 
which excluded Irish vessels from the American trade and banned any 
importation directly from the colonies to Ireland. The economic diffi- 
culties caused by the limitations on trade, added to the religious 
restrictions placed upon them, led to the first migration of the Scotch- 
Irish to America. 

The trickle of Scots leaving Ireland for America was changed into 
a flood as the result of two other factors. Between 1714 and 1719, there 
were six successive years of drought or insufficient rainfall. Crops 
failed and that resulted in suffering and even some famine. Inability 
to secure a living from their land caused thousands to turn to the 
prospect of America in hope of a new life. Most of those who had 
come to Ulster held their property on long-term lease from those who 
had originally received royal grants. The leases were usually for thir- 
ty-one years with a comparatively low rent. The inexpensive land had 
major influence in attracting the Scots to Ireland in the first place. 
Some of the families had held their tracts for as much as a hundred 
years. With the security of the long-term leases and the low rents, 
many tenants had improved their holdings, cultivated previously 
waste land, and undertaken better farming methods. The tenants felt 
strong ties to farms they, their fathers, and in some cases their grand- 
fathers, had held. 

In 1717 and 1718 a large number of the land leases came up for 
renewal. The landlords took this opportunity to increase their prof- 
its. New leases were offered at double or even triple the old rate. The 


practice was called "rent-racking". Farmers refused to go along with 
the inflated rates, which they considered to be an outrageous change 
from traditional practice. As a result, many were turned off of the 
farms they had known all their lives and many of the leases were 
taken by Irish natives who were willing to pay the larger price for the 
lands improved by years of Scotch labor. The influence of the Scottish 
and English people in northern Ireland is described by James Leyburn 
in his study on the Scotch-Irish: 

"In 1610 Ulster had been a wretched wilderness. Thereafter it had been 
transformed by the coming of the frugal, industrious farmers from Scot- 
land and England. Lands were cleared, production was increased, 
methods were improved. Mud hovels and wattled huts were replaced 
by substantial, if rarely handsome, houses. Thrift was regarded as a 
virtue. It had been the industry of the farmers that had brought pros- 
perity to Ulster and increased the value of the land ... It seemed unjust, 
merely because leases had expired, that they should be rewarded by 
having their rents doubled." 7 

Forced from their land, unwilling to sign leases with other land- 
lords at the inflated rents, and unable to find work because of the 
depressed economy, which resulted from the trade laws, the Scots 
were left with only two alternatives. They could move back to Scot- 
land as some did, but the majority, stimulated by what they heard of 
America from friends or kinsmen who had already moved there, 
chose to cross the Atlantic to the new world. Additional motivation 
came from representatives of the colonies who gave glowing pictures 
of readily available, fertile land offered to any who would come, and 
by ship agents who offered indenture as a way of paying the cost of 
transportation. Over the next few years, the number of Scotch-Irish 
moving to America grew from 3,000 to 6,000 a year. After the famine 
of 1740, and in the following years, the number reached 12,000. A 
study by Charles Hanna "estimates that 200,000 Protestants, most of 
them Presbyterians, one-third of the Protestant population of Ireland, 
left the Emerald Isle during the disastrous period 1725-1768." 8 By the 
time of the American Revolution there were approximately a half mil- 
lion Scotch-Irish in America, one-sixth of the population of the British 

It is interesting to consider what might have been if the Ulstermen 
had been treated more fairly by both Crown, government and church 
in Ireland. The American Revolution has been spoken of frequently as 
a "Scotch-Irish War". Certainly this people played a major part in the 

The Scotch-Irish People 


movement towards independence and were the ones who conducted 
and fought in the battles which led to Yorktown. It is interesting to 
speculate on the effect of events that occurred during this period. Per- 
haps, if there had there been less greed on the part of landlords, less 
bullheadedness on the part of the kings, and full recognition of the 
Presbyterians by the Established Church, the mass migration from 
Ulster might never have occurred. Without Scotch-Irish support the 
American Revolution could have ended very differently. The United 
States might have continued as colonies of Great Britain, becoming 
in time a Dominion as is Canada. And, perhaps, the continuing strife 
in Northern Ireland might not have occurred. 

Footnotes to Chapter II 

1. Foote, op. cit., p. 86 

2. ibid, p. 87 

3. James G. Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish, A Social History (1962 - Chapel Hill) p. 91 

4. Henry Jones Ford, The Scotch-Irish In America (1915: Princeton) p. 151 

5. Foote, op. cit., p. 95 

6. Leyburn, op. cit., p. 166 

7. ibid, p. 163 

8. E. T. Thompson, Presbyterians In The South, Volume One (1963: Richmond) p. 42 




— J**^ ^Jiw^^ 

First log church, as mentioned by Rockwell. Built in 1755(7). Situated northeast of the old 

Chapter Three 

Emigration to America 

Ireland was impoverished by loss to America of so many of her 
Protestant citizens. Before 1718, the immigrants to America had 
been mainly the younger sons and daughters of Ulster Scots who 
saw little future for themselves under the continuing conflicts of 
stricter and changing government and religious regulations, or per- 
sons who fled from bad experiences in Ulster for adventure in the new 
world. Word got back to Ireland of their satisfaction in the change, and 
soon Ulster Scots were thronging to America. Families forced off their 
home places by "rent-racking", neighbors who joined one another in 
this great adventure, and even whole villages taking their ministers 
with them, joined the exodus. Parke Rouse quotes a Scottish historian 
who declares: "Thus was Ulster drained of the young, the enterpris- 
ing, and the most energetic and desirable classes of its population. 
. . .They left the land, which had been saved to England by the swords 
of their fathers, and crossed the sea to escape from the galling tyran- 
ny of the Bishops, whom England had made rulers of that land." 1 

In addition to their dissatisfaction with conditions in Ireland, a 
strong reason for the great migration was the attractive picture paint- 
ed by those who encouraged their coming to America. In addition to 
letters from friends or kin in the colonies, a thrust was made by 
shipowners, wanting to gain profits, emigration agents who received 
a fee for each immigrant, and wealthier Americans, who wanted set- 
tlers or indentured servants on their property. Some, such as Beverley 
and Borden in Virginia, had received large grants of land, which 
required them to secure a certain number of settlers before their titles 
were made final. Lord Granville sought people to move onto his grant 
in North Carolina, for his profit would come from the quitrents he 
received. Shipowners sent agents from town to town to report glow- 
ingly of America and sign up passengers for the voyage. Pamphlets 
and broadsides were widely distributed. When attraction did not fill 
a ship, some sea captains even stooped to kidnapping. Youth and even 


children in the communities around the ports were at danger of dis- 
appearing just before a ship sailed. Recruits for the crew were some- 
times shanghaied. Young men from the country were invited aboard 
to inspect the ship, given a drink of drugged wine, and when they 
awoke were well out to sea, going to America. There is no way of 
knowing at this late date, but it is quite possible that among those who 
helped establish the settlement that would eventually become 
Statesville and Iredell County, were one or more who came to Amer- 
ica by being kidnapped or shanghaied. 

Most of the immigrants boarded ship at Belfast or Derry. They had 
with them only the possessions they could fit into their wooden sea 
chests: some clothes, tools, kitchen wares and a few books. The sailing 
ships were small. Some had been built for ocean travel, but the 
demand was so great that almost any hull that could be placed into 
the service was put to use. Depending upon the size of the vessel, 
most carried 120 to 140 passengers. Many were overcrowded and con- 
ditions for the immigrants were appalling. Since there were few 
spaces for passengers, most were put into the holds, where they had 
straw mattresses or hammocks as the only furniture. 

The journey was reckoned to last from eight to ten weeks, but this 
estimate was based upon favorable conditions. On many ships, 
because of poor seamanship by the inadequately trained captains and 
crews, storms driving them off course, or getting becalmed, the voy- 
age would sometimes extend to as much as eighteen weeks. Many 
ships were lost at sea. Food was scarce and barely edible, and water 
was in short supply Even what was provided frequently ran out, and 
starvation was added to the threat of epidemic illness which spread 
through the crowded hulls. Writing in 1732 a Pennsylvanian reported: 

"One of the vessels was seventeen weeks on the way, and about sixty of 
its passengers died at sea. All the survivors are sick and feeble... Last 
year one of the ships was driven about the ocean for twenty-four weeks, 
and of its one hundred and fifty passengers, more than one hundred 
starved to death. To satisfy their hunger they caught mice and rats... 
When the survivors at last reached land, their sufferings were aggra- 
vated by their arrest, and the exaction from them of the entire fare for 
both living and dead." 2 

Other reports tell of the ship, which left Ireland with 400 passengers and 
arrived after 350 had died, and the case of the "starving ship," which 
came to New England in 1740 on which "the provisions ran out, and the 
starving crew and passengers finally resorted to cannibalism." 3 

Emigration to America 19 

Looking for homes in the new world, the first Scotch-Irish had head- 
ed for New England. The Ulstermen remembered their experience 
with the Church of England and were not attracted to the Southern 
colonies, where that church was established. Maryland had been estab- 
lished by the Roman Catholics and favored large plantations. New 
York had the reputation of being inhospitable to dissenters. New Eng- 
land seemed to be the best hope for Presbyterian immigrants. It was 
Calvinistic, and they felt they would be more readily accepted by those 
who shared their theological position. They found, however, that they 
were not warmly welcomed and found it difficult to practice their reli- 
gion in colonies where Congregationalism was the established Church. 

A smaller number came to Charleston, SC. There had been some scat- 
tered immigrants from northern Ireland since the early days of the colony. 
In 1737, the Council of South Carolina granted Ulster colonists a town- 
ship twenty miles square. There was considerable movement to this new 
settlement, but the swampy lowlands, malaria, and the climate, so dif- 
ferent from what they had known in the land from which they came, 
served to make the area less than appealing for permanent settlement. 

The great mass of the Scotch-Irish entered America through Penn- 
sylvania and Delaware. They found ready welcome when they land- 
ed at Philadelphia and New Castle. The religious freedom in Perm's 
colony and the standard of small farms rather than large plantations 
suited their inclination. As they wrote back of their satisfaction to 
friends and kin folk in Ireland, others were persuaded to follow them. 
It has been estimated that, during the fifty-eight years of the Great 
Migration, well over three-fourths of the immigrants from Ulster 
entered America through the Delaware River ports. 

Even after the rigors of the Atlantic crossing were over, the immi- 
grants' difficulties were not done. Few of those coming to America 
could afford to pay for their passage. The system of indenture was the 
way that most of them made their way across the ocean. Contempo- 
rary accounts indicate that, in some periods, as many as nine out of 
ten of the Scotch-Irish came as indentured servants. Having very lit- 
tle money, they sold their labor to pay the fare. To obtain passage, a 
contract was signed with the ship captain, agreeing to have them- 
selves sold as laborers for a set period of time, usually four or even six 
years, when they arrived in America. After a ship docked, a sale 
would be announced, and those seeking servants would bid for them. 
Proceeds of the sale went to the ship captain to pay him for providing 
their transportation at no cost. 


Selling your future labor was not considered to be demeaning. In a 
sense, it was not unlike the twentieth century practice of "buy now, pay 
later" credit purchases, or loans for purchase of a house or automo- 
bile to be paid from future earnings. Though the treatment the inden- 
tured servant received from his master varied, and some were count- 
ed by the one who had bought their contract as little more than slaves, 
the term was definite and limited. During the years of indenture they 
received clothes, food and shelter, became familiar with their new land, 
and laid plans for their future. Most were still young after four years 
and were ready to move on to take advantage of this land of opportu- 
nity. Pennsylvania law said that on completion of their indenture, they 
were to receive "two compleat suits of apparel, a new axe, one 'grub- 
bing hoe' and one 'weeding hoe'." The freed servant was entitled to 
fifty acres of land. 4 

By the time the Scotch-Irish began to arrive in America in large num- 
bers, all the best land along the coastal rivers had already been claimed. 
The first comers did secure places not far from Philadelphia, but as these 
were filled and the demand grew, prices were raised. The ones newly 
arrived or completing their indentures moved west. They picked places 
for themselves in the stretches of unsettled lands and occupied them 
by squatter's rights. Some of the older colonists objected, having already 
laid out claims in the area. Particularly vehement was James Logan, the 
Provincial Secretary of Pennsylvania. He complained of the "audacious 
and disorderly manner" in which the Scotch-Irish had taken over Con- 
es toga Manor, a tract of about 15,000 acres, which had been reserved 
for the Perms. He wrote, "I must own from my experience in the land 
office, that the settlement of five families from Ireland gives me more 
trouble than fifty of any other people." 5 Their response was that "it was 
against the laws of God and nature, that so much land should be idle 
while so many Christians wanted it to labor on and to raise their bread." 6 

At the same time, there were numbers of immigrants coming from 
Germany. Their movement paralleled that of the Scotch-Irish. As set- 
tlement spread, a pattern appeared. A group of Scotch-Irish would 
select homesites, then next would come a group of Germans who set- 
tled near each other. The process was continued with each new group 
moving beyond the last and establishing communities of their own 
persuasion. The result of this practice can be seen in piedmont North 
Carolina today, for example in the way Salem was originally settled 
by the Moravians; Salisbury and Hickory by the Lutherans; Statesville 
and Charlotte by the Presbyterians. 

Emigration to America 21 

As the best land in Pennsylvania was already taken even into the 
Great Valley of Pennsylvania beyond the southern ridge of the 
Appalachian Mountains, the pioneers looked elsewhere. To the north, 
the Indian threat was too great in New York, so their eyes turned 
south. They began to cross the Potomac River and move into the 
almost empty lands west of the Blue Ridge. 

Joist Hite led a group of sixteen families from Pennsylvania and 
started a settlement in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, a 
few miles south of the present city of Winchester. Others followed and 
by 1735, fifty-four families were settled on this land which had been 
secured in a grant from the Council of Virginia. They built a meeting 
house, and by 1736, the Opequon Church was organized, the first 
Presbyterian congregation west of the Blue Ridge. 

In the next few years, those few families were followed by hun- 
dreds, then thousands, of others. There was an ancient Indian trading 
path which ran from the Great Lakes into Carolina. It became known 
as the Great Warriors Path as it was used by the tribes of the Iroquois 
Confederacy in their forays against the Catawbas and Cherokees and 
by the southern Indians as they struck back. 

From Pennsylvania, the Warriors Path ran in a southwest direction, 
crossing the Potomac River near present day Williamsport, then 
through the length of the Valley of Virginia to Big Lick (modern 
Roanoke). Here the path followed the banks of the Roanoke River into 
North Carolina, passed Salem, reached the Yadkin River at the Traders 
Ford, referred to by John Lawson, and on south to the Catawba set- 
tlement in South Carolina. 

At first, this was only a footpath, in places only three or four feet 
wide where it went through forests. There was room for packhorses, 
and most came on foot with a beast bearing the small quantity of 
essential goods they owned. As the numbers of travelers increased, 
the Warriors Path was widened until it could take a two- wheeled cart 
drawn by a horse. As the new settlers reached further and further 
south, the trail was widened mile by mile and was improved until 
wagons could be used. It became known as the Great Philadelphia 
Wagon Road and was the principal route followed by the migration 
through Virginia, the Carolinas, and eventually extended into Geor- 
gia. In a study of the Colonial South, Carl Bridenbaugh reports: 

"Prior to 1760 'the bad road began' south of Augusta Court House in 
the Valley of Virginia, but thereafter it was passable over its entire 
length of over 735 miles for the sturdy wagons devised by the Perm- 


sylvania German craftsmen of the Conestoga Valley. Year after year 
along this narrow rutted intercolonial highway, coursed a procession of 
horsemen, footmen, and pioneer families 'with horse and wagon and 
cattle.' In the last sixteen years of the colonial era, southbound traffic 
along the Great Pennsylvania Wagon Road was numbered in tens of 
thousands; it was the most heavily traveled road in all America ..." 7 

The immigrants moving south gathered into small bands. Friends, 
kin folk, or acquaintances, traveled together and found places of set- 
tlement near one another. Whether they were newly arrived on a ship 
having paid their own fares, those completing their internships, or 
children of earlier settlers now grown and ready to launch out on their 
own, the word of cheaper, abundant land drew migrants to the south. 
Money was short, but if they could they would secure a horse on 
which to load their small collections of necessary possessions and 
cross the Potomac. 

They carried with them "clothing, some bedding, guns and ammu- 
nition, a few cooking utensils, seed corn, axes, saws and other tools, 
and the Bible." 8 These were considered indispensable. Of course, in 
later years as the trail was widened into the Wagon Road, they came 
better equipped. Before the Revolution, there were wagoners who jour- 
neyed back and forth between the settlements and Philadelphia, car- 
rying produce north and needed goods to Virginia and the Carolinas. 

The historian, editor and author Joseph Addison Waddell in his 
Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, written in the last century, describes 
what life was like on the trail: 

"We may accompany, in imagination, these immigrants on their way 
from the settlements north of the Potomac, through the wilderness, to 
their future home. There was, of course, no road, and for the first com- 
ers no path to guide their steps, except, perhaps, the trail of the Indian 
or buffalo. They came at a venture, climbing the hills, fording the creeks 
and rivers, and groping through the forests. At night they rested on the 
ground, with no roof over them but the broad expanse of heaven. After 
selecting a spot for a night's bivouac, and tethering their horses, fire was 
kindled by means of flint and steel, and their frugal meal was prepared. 
Only a scanty supply of food was brought along, for, as game abound- 
ed, they mainly 'subsisted off the country.' Before lying down to rest, 
many of them did not omit to worship the God of their fathers, and 
invoke his guidance and protection." 8 

At first there was reticence to move into Virginia. Recognizing that 
the Church of England was the established church of that colony, seri- 

Emigration to America 23 

ous inquiry was made by these Scotch-Irish Presbyterians as to their 
acceptability in Virginia. The Minutes of Synod meeting in Philadel- 
phia in 1738 acted on "the supplication of John Caldwell, in behalf of 
himself and many families of our persuasion, who are about to settle 
in the back parts of Virginia, desiring that some members of the Synod 
may be appointed to wait on the government to solicit their favor in 
behalf of our interest in that place." 9 Synod approved, drafted a let- 
ter to Governor William Gooch of Virginia, and appointed a member 
to carry it to Richmond. At this time, the residents in the settled part 
of the colony were concerned about the Indian threat and were quite 
willing to welcome settlers in the Valley to serve as a buffer protecting 
the older settlements. The next year's Minutes quote the reply from 
Governor Gooch: 

"As I have been always inclined to favor the people who have lately 
removed from other provinces to settle on the western side of our great 
mountains; So you may be assured that no interruption shall be given 
to any minister of your profession, who shall come among them . . . This 
you may please communicate to the Synod as an answer to theirs. 
Your most humble servant, William Gooch" 9 

This assurance opened the gate, and in the next ten years so many 
moved in that by 1745 the first trans-mountain county, Augusta, was 
established. Moving ever southward, the immigrant groups pressed 
on until the lands in the Valley of Virginia were largely claimed. Pass- 
ing through the Roanoke River Gap in the Blue Ridge, they followed 
the Warrior's Path on beyond the line surveyed in 1727 marking the 
boundary between Virginia and Carolina. Before 1750, settlement of 
the area along the Yadkin and Catawba rivers had begun and land 
grants from Lord Granville had been claimed. 

Footnotes to Chapter III 

1. Parke Rouse, Jr., The Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the South, (1973: New York) p. 30 

2. Ibid p. 31 

3. Ford, op cit, p. 207 

4. Leyburn, op cit, p. 178 

5. Thompson, op cit, p. 44 

6. Charles A. Hanna, The Scotch-Irish, or The Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and America Vol. 

II; (1902: New York) p. 63 

7. Carl Bridenbaugh, Myths and Realities: Societies of the Colonial South (1952: Louisiana State Uni- 

versity Press) p. 130 

8. Joseph A. Waddell, Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1737 to 1900, second edition; (1902: 

Staunton, Virginia) p. 27 

9. Minutes of the Presbyterian Church in America 1706-1788, edited by Guy S. Klett: (1972: Philadel- 

phia; Presbyterian Historical Society) p. 154 



Second log church, as described by Rockwell. Built in 1780. Used for 83 years, until 1863. 
80' by 40' in size. 

Chapter Four 

Settlement of Carolina 

As the settlers moved down from Pennsylvania into the Valley 
of Virginia, the available land was limited by the barriers of 
the mountains, the Blue Ridge on the east and the Appalachi- 
ans on the west. This helps to explain the way that, in only a few 
years, settlements had extended the full length of the Valley. Immi- 
grants were forced further and further south to find unclaimed land. 
By the 1740s, the migration was passing on into Lord Granville's grant 
in North Carolina. Here the mountains were further to the west, and 
the whole of the piedmont was open to them. Granville's agents 
reached into Pennsylvania and even across the ocean, promoting the 
Carolina land as readily available, fertile, without religious restriction 
and inexpensive — the answer to their hopes. Thousands set the Yad- 
kin-Catawba country as their goal when they started south. 

The first ones found places along the Haw and Little Rivers in the 
general area, where Greensboro was to be established. Many of them 
had followed another ancient Indian trail, which extended from the 
villages of the Catawbas to the Indian villages along the James River 
in Virginia. It was the route followed by traders as they came to do 
business with the Indians. Mosley's 1733 map of the Carolinas shows 
this trail as a prominent feature west of the otherwise vaguely illus- 
trated back country. He labels it: "Indian Trading Road from the 
Cataubos and Charokee Indians to Virginia". 1 For years before there 
were any settlers in the area, white men had followed this path to the 
Indian villages to trade guns, powder, shot, kettles, blankets, knives, 
brass rings and other trinkets for the furs collected by the Indians. The 
Trading Path and the Warrior's Path merged a short distance above 
the Yadkin River and crossed the river at the Trading Ford, which was 
a landmark for both traders and immigrants over the next fifty years. 
The rapid growth of the back country of North Carolina can be seen 
in the actions of the Colonial government in establishing new coun- 
ties to serve the expanding population. In 1746 when the commission 


to lay out the boundary between Granville's grant and the rest of Car- 
olina reached the back country, they had to stop for the population 
was so small and settlements so widely separated that they could not 
get provisions for themselves and their horses. A study by William 
Gehrke reports that in 1747, "there were not more than one hundred 
fighting men in the entire region west of Hillsville." 2 Movement came 
so swiftly however that by the fall of 1748 there was sufficient popu- 
lation for Governor Gabriel Johnston to proclaim the establishment of 
Anson County. In his proclamation, he pointed out the inconvenience 
to the settlers of the area along the Yadkin of being a hundred miles 
from the county court of Bladen, "and that at some seasons of the year 
the roads between are very bad, if not impracticable." These settlers 
on the western frontier were thus "in a manner excluded from all ben- 
efits of said court, to which, by reason of the bad behavior on many 
amongst them, they have frequent occasions of recourse." 3 

It was only five years more before the number of settlers between 
the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers had reached a level which called for 
the division of Anson County. A petition signed by 348 persons was 
presented to the Colonial Assembly in 1753, asking to be set off from 
Anson as a new county. The petitioners cited the hardships they faced 
in traveling to the courthouse, then located about ten miles from 
Wadesboro, or responding to a call to serve as jurymen. The Assembly 
approved the request in record time, and on April 12, 1753, Gover- 
nor Mathew Rowan signed the bill "erecting the upper part of Anson 
County into a County and Parish by the name of Rowan County, and 
St. Luke's Parish; and for appointing a Place for County Court." 4 

The new Rowan County was bounded on the south by the line of 
the Granville Grant, on the east by Orange and Anson Counties and 
on the north by the Virginia line. There was no western boundry, the 
land extending in that direction, as far as British claims reached. The 
area which would become Iredell County in 1788 was a part of Rowan 
for thirty-five years. Thus, through the years of the settlement of the 
Fourth Creek area, those who established their homes here were in 
three different counties: Anson, then Rowan, then Iredell. 

Having crossed the Yadkin at the Trading Ford, a number of the 
pioneers turned upstream to the west and northwest to find 
unclaimed places where they could establish themselves. Leaving Sal- 
isbury, they identified their settlements according to the number of 
streams they passed: first creek, second creek, third creek, fourth 
creek, fifth creek. It was from this number-name that the region about 

Settlement of Carolina 27 

which this study is written came to be known as the Fourth Creek 
Community. We are not able to identify the initial settlers who chose 
this part of Lord Granville's territory as the place to establish their 
new homes. There was no register of persons arriving, nor a census of 
the population. Even if there had been, it is probable that many of 
these Scotch-Irish folk, remembering their bitter past experience with 
governments in Ireland or the colonies to the north, would have 
avoided having their names registered. In his study of the settlement 
of the North Carolina frontier, Carolina Cradle, Robert W. Ramsey has 
done a remarkable job of tracing many of those who secured land 
grants between the Yadkin and the Catawba in the first decades after 
immigration reached the area. These land warrants were granted, giv- 
ing approval to have the site surveyed before the final title was issued. 
Court records of these land warrants are helpful in identifying the 
early settlers but are not conclusive. Ramsey points out, "The dates of 
the warrents (or land grants) do not mark the time of immigration, 
because in most cases the lands were occupied long before the grants 
were made. In other cases, the patents were granted to individuals 
who obtained them for speculative purposes and never actually 
resided on the land." 5 Other settlers just moved in, occupied their 
places by "squatters rights", established their homes, and never did 
get clear titles. In this way they avoided payment for the land, 
quitrents, and the expense of having their places surveyed and court 
costs for registration. 

Among those earliest settlers were some whose descendants 
became prominent in the development of Statesville and Iredell Coun- 
ty and whose names have been a familar part of this community and 
church. The names Allison, Alexander, Bell, Davis, Lock(e), Holmes, 
McKee, Miller, Morrison, Oliphant, Watts and White all appear in the 
records of the Anson County as filing for land warrants before Rowan 
County was set off in 1753. 

The new settlers had little of this world's goods. What small stock 
they had was what they had brought in sea chests on the Atlantic 
crossing or what they had accumulated during their sojourn in the 
place where they had served their apprenticeship. They were limited 
by what they could carry or load on a pack horse. In some cases they 
owned a cow, which carried a load on their trek from Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, or Virginia. 

When they arrived at their new home places, they built cabins and 
made their own crude furniture. Rouse describes this part of their task 


as it applied to a German immigrant, but the same thing would apply 
to these Scotch-Irish: 

He "built his tables from a split slab of wood, the top surface smoothed 
with an adz and four rounded legs set in auger holes. For lack of chairs 
he made three-legged stools or backless benches. Wooden pins driven 
into the inner walls of the house served as coat racks or shelf supports. 
Tallow candles or a fat-lamp produced light. Bear grease and hog fat 
were saved for this purpose filling the house with the strong odor of 
burning lard as the light flickered. Platters were often of wood and 
plates and spoons usually of pewter." 5 

If the family owned one book, it was almost certainly the Bible, and, 
carefully wrapped and packed, it was one of the few possessions they 
brought to their new homes — for these Scotch-Irish Presbyterians an 
essential one. The Bible of Scotland was the Geneva version, first pub- 
lished in London in 1560. The Presbyterians preferred the Geneva 
Bible to the more modern King James Version. It was the first Bible 
published in Scotland, and the Scottish Parliament had ordered: 
"Every householder worth 300 marks of yearly rent, and every yoe- 
man or burgess worth 500 pounds shall have a Bible and a Psalm Book 
in the vulgar language under the penalty of ten pounds." They had 
come, at least partially, on religious principals, and the Bible was the 
first book in the wilderness. 

There was much work to be done by the settlers when they had 
selected their home sites. There was land to clear, ground to be 
plowed, crops to be planted, and daily needs to be provided for. Each 
member of the family: father, mother, and children worked from early 
morning to dark - that is until the Sabbath came. Their Presbyterian 
heritage made them subject in conscience and conviction to the Ten 
Commandments. Sometimes the interpretation of their meaning was 
a bit extreme on the part of some of the religious leaders. There was 
even a case which came before New Castle Presbytery, where a min- 
ister member was taken to task for breaking the Fourth Command- 
ment by "bathing on the Sabbath day" We assume that he went swim- 
ming for it is hard to believe that they took offense at his washing 
himself, unless hauling water for the bath was looked on as breaking 
the Word which said "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy ... in 
it thou shalt not do any work ..." 

Now they had no church in which to gather on the Lord's Day, but 
they had grown up in a tradition of family worship. From Ireland they 
had brought the standard of having morning and evening prayers, the 

Settlement of Carolina 29 

singing of David's Psalms, and Scripture readings. The father led their 
worship, considering this to be as important a part of his responsibil- 
ity as providing for the physical needs of his family. 

Perhaps for the first few weeks, they observed the Sabbath at their 
own homes. Their time of prayer and Scripture reading was probably 
an expanded version of what they observed each day. In some fami- 
lies, time was taken for study of the questions and answers in the 
Westminster Shorter Catechism. Even in the wilderness, the Sabbath 
was holy unto the Lord. 

Before long, they felt the need to share in worship in the commu- 
nity of faith, as had been their tradition. They had no place of public 
worship available, nor ministers, but near them were friends who 
shared their faith. Neighbors began to gather on the Sabbath day, 
perhaps at the cabin of one who had been an Elder of the Church in 
Ireland or in Pennsylvania. As the word of this united worship 
spread, more and more came until the cabins were too small to hold 
the ones gathered. They began meeting in a convenient grove of 

By 1750 communities were being formed along the North Carolina 
frontier, and before 1753 the people here recognized themselves as the 
Fourth Creek Settlement. The individual groups, which had been 
meeting for worship at different homes, moved to establish them- 
selves as a congregation. An old document which is entitled "A 
Remonstrance to North Carolina Presbytery, Which is to Sit in April 
1773" declares that the petitioners, members of Fourth Creek Congre- 
gation, "have been congregated upwards of twenty years" and that 
the place of worship "hath been fixed this sixteen or seventeen years." 
This document establishes the founding of the Fourth Creek Congre- 
gation in 1753 and the location of the Church at its present site set by 
1757. These dates are generally agreed upon by the historians who 
have written about what was to become the First Presbyterian Church 
of Statesville. 

The Reverend Elijah F. Rockwell was pastor of this church before 
1850 and later came back to Statesville as President of Concord Female 
College. He had a great interest in the history of this area and report- 
ed the result of his findings in a number of published articles. In 
December 1870, he delivered the Historical Address at the dedication 
of the "New House of Worship, Statesville, N.C." In the community 
less than a hundred years after its founding, and continuing his inves- 
tigation over a period of thirty years, Rockwell's sketch of the Histo- 


ry of Fourth Creek Church is one of our most valuable resources on the 
early days of the Church and community. 

Dr. Rockwell located three "Preaching Stands" which were used by 
the Congregation before they settled on the location at which to erect 
their first church building. A "Preaching Stand" was a place where a 
group gathered to worship in the open air. A rough hewn board 
would be slid into notches, cut in two conveniently located trees. This 
served as a pulpit, providing a place where the leader might lay his 
Bible and Psalmbook. When appropriate, the shelf could hold the ves- 
sels used in administration of the sacraments. The site chosen would 
ordinarily be near a spring, and the people sat on logs placed around 
the crude pulpit or on the ground. Some may have chosen to stand but 
as Pastor Neill McGeachy noted: "Standing seems hardly possible, 
although they were tough and hardy folk, since the long prayer usu- 
ally lasted for an hour and the sermon at least two." 6 Rockwell reports 
that when he was searching out the location of these places of wor- 
ship, he found the remains of the pulpit board still in place at one of 

Following their meeting in small groups of families, the people 
from across the community gathered in a central location when the 
opportunity arose for them to hear the preaching of the Word from the 
lips of a Presbyterian Missionary, come to this section of North Car- 
olina. The place they selected is described by Dr. Rockwell: 

"The earliest place of assembling, of which we have any tradition, was 
about a mile north of this spot (the Presbyterian Church), nearly in 
sight, on top of a hill, near a copious spring that runs down a ravine 
into the south fork of Fourth Creek ... It was in a grove on the left of the 
road formerly leading to the house of Alexander Huggins, near the site 
of FortDobbs." 7 

This fork of the creek is now known as "Morrison's Branch", and is 
north of Interstate 40 just beyond the junction of North Carolina 
Highway 115 and the Chipley Ford Road. The description "in a grove 
on the left side of the road" would point to the high ground between 
N. C. 115 and the Chipley Ford Road, just beyond Museum Road. It is 
believed that the people met here as early as 1751 or 1752. 

Before they had an ordained minister, this people gathered for 
Common Worship with different ones taking part in the leadership. 
The usual order of worship called for singing of the Psalms in Rouse's 
version. Some had Psalm books along with their Bibles — tracing back 
to the tradition carried on in obedience to the order of the Scottish Par- 

Settlement of Carolina 31 

liament mentioned earlier. Passages of the Bible would be read. Then 
sometimes, they would have a reading from a cherished book of ser- 
mons or a commentary brought along with them from Ireland or Scot- 

In the next few years, the people of Fourth Creek had two other 
Preaching Stands. We don't know the exact years for the use of each 
or the reasons that the moves were made, but in the period before 
1757, these sites were the location for the first sermon preached here, 
the first administrations of the sacrament of Holy Communion, early 
burials, and the first moves toward building a Meeting House. 

For a time the congregation gathered at a stand near the "present 
city water works". This stand was located near an old road which ran 
north to join the one running from Salisbury to Fort Dobbs and Nis- 
bet's Store. That road no longer exists. After the Iredell County Court 
House was established at Statesville, a number of the old roads were 
changed. Nesbit's Store was no longer what Dr. Rockwell calls "the 
greatest center of roads in this region." 8 

It seems that this spot was the first one chosen to be the place they 
would build their meeting house. Expecting it to be permanent, some 
families chose this site to be the place where they would bury their 
dead. Rockwell's study says that among the ones buried there were 
"James McKee; his sister Mrs. Jane Potts, wife of Moses Potts; two chil- 
dren of John Stewart, one of Samuel Reed." Later a pailings fence was 
built around these graves "but it is supposed that the plough has long 
since obliterated all traces of them; and it is doubtful whether any man 
living (in 1870) can identify the spot exactly." 9 

We do not have records of how long the Fourth Creek Congregation 
gathered at this second site, but soon they had moved again. This time 
they selected a place nearer what would become Statesville, one with- 
in the present city limits. Across Hartness Road from the Public Health 
Center near Iredell Memorial Hospital, you can find the rock walled 
cemetery that adjoined the preaching stand. 

Plans were made to erect their meeting house here. Logs for timbers 
were gathered for the construction and some families began to bury 
their dead here. One family which did so was the Allisons who con- 
tinued to use this "Lord's Acre" even after the congregation had 
moved again. Laid out as a square and protected by a rock wall the 
men of the congregation built around it, it has come to be known as 
the "Allison Grave Yard". About twenty of the graves are marked 
with monuments dated between 1821 and 1864, but certainly there 


were a number of other burials which were unmarked. Normally in 
the early days the body would just be wrapped in a shroud, though 
on occasion, a simple box was made by someone in the neighborhood, 
but a carved monument was expensive and difficult to get in the early 
days for it had to be secured from one of the settlements to the north 
and transported by wagon to the frontier. The grave of a family mem- 
ber was honored and its location known, but many did not mark them 
with stones so we don't know exactly how many persons are buried 
here and in the other places used by the folk of Fourth Creek in the 
early days. The " Allison Grave Yard" property has been held by the 
First Presbyterian Church since 1859, when it was deeded to the 
Trustees of the Church by Mr. A. K. Simonton. 

The reason for moving their meeting place again is not known, nor 
are we sure of the date the change was made. It must have been about 
1757 or 1758 since the Remonstrance to Synod in 1773 affirms that the 
congregation's place of worship had been established for "sixteen or 
seventeen years". This dating is confirmed by inscriptions on the old- 
est marked graves in Fourth Creek Burying Ground. Here we find 
monuments marking the pre-Revolutionary deaths of: Margaret 
Archibald, July 1759; John Dobbins 1762; Peter Fleming, Novem- 
ber 1762; Jean Watts, October 1763; William Archibald, January 1754; 
James McEwen, October 1766; James Roseborough, March 1767; Mar- 
garet Woods, April 1771; Jean Eliot, February 1772; James Mordah, 
November 1774; and Elizabeth Walker, April 1775. 

A deed is recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds for Rowan 
County (Book 2, page 259) showing that on January 7, 1758 Fergus 
Sloan and his wife Elizabeth sold "for five shillings % acres between 
3rd Creek and 4th Creek and Buffaloe Creek which empties into 4th 
Creek" to Robert Simonton, Thomas Allison, Samuel Thornton, 
Patrick Duffie, and William Simonton, Trustees of Fourth Creek Con- 
gregation, for a burying ground. This was a part of the land which 
Fergus Sloan had purchased in 1753 from John Oliphant, who had 
received the original grant from the agents of Lord Granville in 1750. 
Later, in 1786, Fergus Sloan sold additional property to the congrega- 
tion for their meeting house and, in 1788, deeded 68 acres for the 
establishment of Statesville, county seat for the new Iredell County. 

Probably the Fourth Creek folk set up a Preaching Stand at this 
location before the "burying ground" was deeded to them, and it is 
certain that their first building was erected here. 

Settlement of Carolina 


Footnotes to Chapter IV 

1. Cummings, op, cit. Plate 51 & p. 22 

2. Ramsey, op. cit. p. 22 

3. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, [10 vols.] ed. by William L. Saunders, (1886-1890: Raleigh, 

N.C.) Vol IV, p. 889 Cited by Ramsey, op. cit. p. 24 

4. James S. Brawley, The Rowan Story 1775-1953; (1953: Salisbury, N.C: Rowan Printing Com- 

pany) p. 15 

5. Rouse, op. cit. p. 26 

6. Neill R. McGeachy, unpublished paper First Preaching "Stand" in the Fourth Creek Community 

circa 1751-52 p. 2 

7. E. F. Rockwell, History of Fourth Creek Church, in November 1871 issue of "The Davidson 

Monthly, A Magazine of Science, Literature & Art"; Vol IV, No. II, p. 47 

8. Ibid p. 48 

9. Ibid, p. 48 

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Bronze marker located on front steps of entrance to sanctuary. 

Chapter Five 

John Thompson 

The massive migration of the Scotch-Irish into piedmont North 
Carolina occurred during the 1750s and 1760s. The Governor of 
the province Gabriel Johnston reported that when he had taken 
office in 1732, on appointment of the King, the population of North 
Carolina was about 50,000. When he died in August 1752 it had grown 
to 90,000. In 1751 he wrote, "Inhabitants flock in here daily, mostly 
from Pennsylvania and other parts of America who are overstocked 
with people and some directly from Europe. They commonly seat 
themselves toward the West and have got near the mountains." 1 The 
increased number of settlers in the area, undoubtedly, was influen- 
tial in the establishing of preaching stands and the movement toward 
erection of their own Meeting House. 

The Scotch-Irish pioneers did their best to have joint worship of 
God in a way which was appropriate to their circumstances, but they 
hungered for the the preached Word and the sacraments as they had 
known them in their earlier years before coming to this frontier. Pres- 
byterians in this country had been joined in a General Presbytery since 
1707 and their number had grown until, in 1717, they divided into 
four Presbyteries joined in a General Synod. The four original pres- 
byteries were composed of the ministers and churches in New York, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. As the immi- 
grants of Presbyterian background moved into the back country of 
Virginia and then Carolina, they looked to the older settlements of 
their doctrinal persuasion to aid them in finding ministerial leader- 
ship. The Minutes of the governing bodies show that, as early as 1722, 
appeals from the people in Virginia were addressed by the Synod and 
ministers appointed to make missionary visits to them. 

The Synod meeting in Philadelphia in May 1744 included the fol- 
lowing in their Minutes: 

"A Representation from many people of north Carolina [SIC] was laid 


before the Synod shewing their desolate Condition and requesting the 
Synod to take their Estate into Consideration and petitioning yt we 
would appoint one of our Number to correspond with them. — Ordered 
yt Mr. John Thompson correspond with them." 2 

Thompson is important to the story of this congregation for he was 
the first Minister of the Gospel to visit these parts. Some historians 
have reported that he actually did come to North Carolina as early 
as 1744, but if he did it is very unlikely that he got west of the Yadkin 
River. Settlement here was still too small to have attracted him to the 
Carolina frontier that early. We do know that in 1744 he took a pas- 
torate in Virginia, where he served for about six years before moving 
to the southern part of Iredell County. During his time in Virginia, he 
must have made some visits to Carolina including this area. Some of 
his children had moved to North Carolina and settled in the area 
which later became the Centre Church Community. They lived near 
the Catawba River, and their home-sites and graveyard were covered 
by Lake Norman. When he moved to North Carolina, he established 
a home near his daughter, the wife of Samuel Baker, who, in 1753, was 
operating a mill on Davidson's Creek. It is probable that his move into 
the Statesville area was the occasion for the establishment of our first 
"preaching stand." 

John Thompson was a native of Ireland and had been "Licensed to 
Preach the Gospel" by Donegal Presbytery in Ulster before he came to 
America with his family about 1715. The Minutes of the second day of 
the meeting of the Presbytery, held in Philadelphia in September 1715, 
report reception of a letter "from Mr. John Thompson Probationer late- 
ly come into the countrey [SIC], desiring the Advise and Assistance of 
the Presby." They instructed one of their minister members, Howard 
Powell, to write a letter to him in answer to his. 3 

The Presbyterian Church insisted on a high level of education for 
all its ministers, and there was no university in America that met 
their standards for the proper training of clergymen until the late 
1740s. All the early ministers had received their theological train- 
ing in Scotland, either having grown up there or, if living in Ameri- 
ca, having crossed the ocean to receive approved advance training. 
When he graduated, a candidate for the ministry went before Pres- 
bytery for examination. If his education, both general and theologi- 
cal, was approved, Presbytery would grant approval for him to 
preach during a trial period as a test of his gifts. When the period 
of trial was completed, a second examination passed, and a call to a 

John Thompson 37 

specific work approved, the church would proceed to his ordination. 

At the 1716 meeting of Presbytery a call for Mr. John Thompson to 
become their minister was presented by the people of "Lewis-Town". 
He is reported as "being himself absent because of sickness" but "sig- 
nified his willingness to submit to what Presbytery should think expe- 
dient for that people, and his own good." A committee of eight mem- 
bers was appointed "to take his Trials, and upon their Satisfaction to 
proceed to Ordination upon the first Wednesday of April next . . ." 3 

The next year was the first meeting of the new Synod. The commit- 
tee appointed by the 1716 Presbytery reported the fulfillment of the 
responsibility assigned to them, and Thompson is recorded as present 
and a member of the Synod. He became one of the most prominent 
ministers of the Presbyterian Church. Twice, in 1719 and in 1722, he 
was selected to be the Moderator of the Synod. He was the first to pro- 
pose to Synod that the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger 
and Shorter Catechisms and the Book of Church Order be adopted 
as the standards for the Presbyterian Church in America. When dis- 
agreement arose within the Church on the requirement that ministers 
"subscribe" to the standards, on the revivalism of the "Great Awak- 
ening", and on education appropriate for the ministry, he took a 
strong conservative position. Along with Dr. Francis Allison of 
Philadelphia, he was influential in leading what was called the "old 
side" in the division which occurred in 1741 and lasted until 1758. 

Thompson was pastor of the Church in Lewistown, Delaware until 
1732 when he moved to Chestnut Level, Pennsylvania. During his 
ministry there, he made several missionary journeys to the frontier 
area of Virginia. Donegal Presbytery sent him to do supply preach- 
ing in the various frontier settlements. After a second itinerate peri- 
od in Virginia in 1743-44, he asked the Presbytery to dismiss him from 
the Chestnut Level Church so that he might accept work in Virginia. 
He had a home on Buffalo Creek in what is now Prince Edward Coun- 
ty and preached in settlements over a wide area of that colony. In 
addition to his service as an itinerating preacher, he established a 
school at his home and wrote The Explication of the Shorter Catechism 
which was published in Williamsburg in 1749. 5 

Much of what we know of John Thompson comes from an 
unsigned paper discovered by Neill R. McGeachy while he was pas- 
tor of the Statesville First Presbyterian Church. He assumes this record 
was written by Dr. E. F. Rockwell during his extensive studies of 
Fourth Creek Church made in the 19th century. Concerning Thomp- 


son's coming to this section, the paper says, "Having fought a good 
fight: having spent the best of his days, and the prime of his life, in 
contending manfully for the Faith once delivered to the saints; like the 
Prophet of old, setting out for the Mount of God, and sighing for rest 
from the strife of tongues; he took his staff and came on a pilgrimage 
into this wilderness, in 1751. " 6 

An anecdote is reported both in this paper and with variation in 
Mrs. Minnie Eliason's 1939 sketch of the Church's history, telling of 
Thompson's mode of travel on his missionary excursions. At some 
house where he had spent the night, his hostess, after inquiring how 
the night had gone with him, volunteered that his horse had been well 
attended to also for she had fed him with her own hands. He replied, 
"Do not tell a falsehood, good lady. I put away the only horse I have 
beside the door when I came in," pointing to his staff. He may well 
have walked when he first came to his daughter's home in South 
Iredell. He came for a visit but moved in to live with her until he had 
a cabin built for himself. 

After coming to the Carolina frontier, Thompson took out several 
land claims. On March 25, 1752 he received a grant of 627 acres 
between Davidson's Creek and the Catawba River where his cabin 
was built in the woods near the road from Salisbury to Beatie's Ford. 
Other grants he received, including one on the north fork of Fifth 
Creek, were made available to settlers coming in from the north, per- 
haps persons he had known when he had served in New Castle and 
Donegal Presbyteries. 

In the summer of 1751, he preached the first sermon delivered by 
a minister of any denomination on the northwest frontier of Carolina. 
Dr. Rockwell identifies the place for this service "at old William Mor- 
rison's, near Concord Church." For the next few years, he maintained 
a circuit of stands where he preached. In addition to this first location, 
he preached at the stand of Fourth Creek Community, at Cathey's set- 
tlement (Thyatira), on Third Creek "near Samuel Young's", at 
Osborne's meeting (Centre), and a few miles south of Davidson's 
Creek near what is now Hopewell Church. 7 Though coming to his 
daughter's with the intention of retiring, he found the need so great 
that he responded to the pleas of the people of the region and contin- 
ued as their missionary minister through the last few years of his life. 

The Minutes of the Synod of Philadelphia for May 24, 1753 report: 
"The Rev'd Messrs: John Thompson and Hugh Conn Died since our 
Last Synod." 8 Tradition says that his daughter had him buried under 

John Thompson 39 

the floor of his cabin. His son-in-law died a few years later and was 
buried beside him. This was the beginning of what came to be known 
as Baker's Graveyard. At the time the unsigned paper on John 
Thompson was written the author (Rockwell?) said, "where he was 
laid in the grave, there will he rise on the last day: for no man knoweth 
precisely the spot of his grave to this day." 9 In his History of the Third 
Creek Presbyterian Church, John Fleming reports that Concord Pres- 
bytery adopted a memorial to Thompson in 1952 and at that time, a 
monument was erected to his memory at what was supposed to be his 
grave. Before Lake Norman filled with water "Thompson's grave was 
removed a short distance to the historic cemetery of old Centre 
Church at Mount Mourne." 10 

When the news came that an ordained minister had arrived in their 
midst and would preach the Word on the coming Sabbath, the people 
from all the surrounding area readily gathered. This Scotch-Irish folk 
had grown up with churches and a preached gospel. Here in the 
wilderness they had observed the Sabbath as best they could, but they 
missed worshipping under the leadership of a trained minister. When 
the appointed Sabbath arrived, families from all across the area made 
their way to the preaching stand. Living at great distances apart, most 
of them had to travel many a mile to get to the place of worship and 
then return to their homes in the evening of the same day. To travel ten 
miles or even more was not considered to be a hardship if it were for 
the purpose of receiving the means of grace. Most had to walk, 
women and children included. As they moved down the path, they 
would join themselves to neighbors headed toward the same goal. 
Frequently, homeward bound, they would discuss among themselves 
the Word of God as they had heard it that day. 

An article, possibly written by Dr. Rockwell, appeared in the Car- 
olina Watchman, September 9, 1847, reporting on their Sabbath jour- 
neys. The description would apply to both the time when the people 
gathered at the various preaching stands and after they had erected 
their first meeting house. 

"The word doubly dear for the pains they had taken to hear it, was food 
to their souls. Many a weary mile did they go beguiling the time and 
the length of the way by their pleasant converse on things of another 
world, that gladdened their hearts. 

"The young ladies carried, tied up in a pocket handkerchief, their 
fine shoes and stockings, together with their linen aprons, of their own 
manufacture bleached as white as snow, neatly folded up, and pressed 


in little squares and triangles, so that the folds would all show when 
spread out. When they came near the place of worship they sat down 
and put these on; and on their return replaced them as before; and the 
same folding of their aprons on which they prided themselves was care- 
fully preserved to be opened again the next Sabbath; . . ." n 

The death of John Thompson brought the people to their first crisis. 
Though never officially assigned as such, he had served as their min- 
ister from 1751 until his death before May 1753. Having been blessed 
by his service to them, they wanted to secure a replacement as soon as 
possible. But Presbyterian ministers were in short supply in Ameri- 
ca. Only eighty-five are listed as minister members of the Presbyteries 
in the year Thompson died and these were divided by the "old side"- 
"new side" conflict into the competing Synod of Philadelphia and 
Synod of New York. The people in the area of the preaching stands 
where Thompson had supplied turned to Donegal Presbytery, to 
which they had been related through his presbyterial membership 
and to the Synod of Philadelphia. The same Synod minutes which 
report Thompson's death include notice that they had received a sup- 
plication for a minister to come to them from the Presbyterians in Car- 
olina. On the second day of the meeting this supplication, along with 
others from Virginia, were taken up. The action of Synod is shown: 

"The Supplications from Virginia and North Carolina were Consider'd 
& the Synod orders Mr. McMordie to supply the Vacancies in those 
Parts for ten weeks or Longer if he find it needfull & that he pay a 
greater regard to the Larger Societies that have Supplicated this Synod 
from time to time & at the Same time do what he Can to promote the 
Benefit of Younger Setlements & that he Set out the first of July next & 
that Mr. Donaldson in Like Manner Supply the Same Back Parts & con- 
tinue there for ten Weeks or as much longer as he thinks fit & that he 
Shall Set out the first of October The Synod recommends it to Messrs: 
McMordie & Donaldson to Shew a Special Regard to the vacancies in 
North Carolina Especially Betwixt Atkin & Cataba Rivers in giving them 
a Considerable part of the time they Spend in those Back parts." 12 

Fourth Creek was not to have a regular minister settled among 
them for the next twenty-five years until James Hall was installed as 
their first Pastor in 1778. The people of the North Carolina back coun- 
try were zealous in seeking the benefits of having ministerial leader- 
ship. Repeatedly appeals were made to the Presbyteries and Synods 
by the different settlements asking for ministers to come to them. The 
appointment of the Reverend Messrs. McMordie and Donaldson to 

John Thompson 41 

have particular concern for vacant churches in the region between the 
Yadkin and Catawba undoubtedly resulted in visits by the missionar- 
ies to Fourth Creek, as well as to other preaching stands in this area 
which were soon to develop into churches: Cathey's Meeting House 
(Thyatira), Centre (near Mount Mourne), Rocky River and Poplar Tent 
(near Concord). They probably went also to the early meetings in 
what would become Mecklenburg County such as Sugar Creek, Steele 
Creek, Hopewell, and Providence. We do not have any record of how 
McMordie and Donaldson carried out the assignment given them by 
Synod so we can only speculate. Minutes of Synod the next year do 
not show any report of their fulfillment of it, but at that meeting it is 
reported that Robert McMordie had been ordained to the ministry 
by Donegal Presbytery. We may assume that, since neither are listed 
as members of Synod at the time of their assignment to go to Carolina 
as missionaries, they were candidates undergoing a trial of the gifts as 
a part of preparation for ordination. By 1755 both Robert McMordie 
and William Donaldson are listed as ministers subscribing to the Wid- 
ows' Fund, the first program of denominational support for the fam- 
ilies of deceased ministers. 

In response to repeated appeals by the back country settlements for 
ministers to be sent among them, William Donaldson was again 
assigned in May 1755 to 

"supply ye back inhabitants of Virginia and North Carolina, for at least 
three Months next Fall; and that he in a particular (way) pay a regard to 
the Supplications that were laid before this Synod by some of these back 
inhabitants; That Mr. Wilson supply them, in like manner, for three 
Months next Winter, and Mr. McKennan for three Months next 
Spring." 13 

We do not have direct accounts of visits by these three men in 1755- 
56, but can assume that in their missionary excursions into North Car- 
olina they included Fourth Creek Community as one of the places 
they visited and preached. The ministers who had come into this 
region before had all been related to the "old side" Synod of Philadel- 
phia. In 1755 the first "new side" minister known to have come into 
the Carolina back country, Hugh McAden, came through on a trip 
which started in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with the goal of visiting the 
new settlements in North and South Carolina. His missionary trip is 
particularly significant because the careful journal McAden kept of it 
was preserved when the army of Cornwallis was encamped in 
Caswell County in January 1781, preparing to encounter General 


Greene's Colonial forces, which occurred at the Battle of Guilford 
Courthouse. Perhaps vengeance was shown against Hugh McAden 
because the British forces had already come to think of the revolt by 
the American colonists as being a "Presbyterian War". Only a few of 
McAden's papers were not destroyed but, fortunately for historians, 
the journal of his first trip into the Carolinas escaped. This journal 
gives us the most complete picture that we have of what the work of 
the early Presbyterian missionaries was like. He includes notations on 
where he traveled, with whom he stayed, the conditions he encoun- 
tered, and where he preached on the Sabbaths and upon some other 

Hugh McAden was a native of Pennsylvania, his parents both hav- 
ing come from Ireland. He graduated at Nassau Hall (later Princeton 
College) and was licensed by New Castle Presbytery in 1755. At once 
the Presbytery appointed him to make a missionary tour of the Car- 
olinas and on June 3, 1755 he left York, Pennsylvania on his southward 
journey. He followed the famed Wagon Road through the Valley of 
Virginia, visiting many of the recently founded congregations and 
finding kind folk all along the way who were glad to welcome the 
young minister as a guest in their homes for as long as he would stay. 
On July 28th he reached North Carolina and preached at stands, meet- 
ing houses or homes nineteen times at twelve different places in the 
next five weeks before crossing what he calls "Yadkin Ford". For the 
next month he was in the Rowan County vicinity. It is not possible to 
identify all the places he speaks of as preaching points but some of the 
names he mentions as persons with whom he stayed: Alison, Andrew, 
Harris, Alexander, and Lewis, are family names which are familiar in 
the early records of Fourth Creek Community. 

McAden tells of continuing his journey down through the North 
Carolina Piedmont and into South Carolina. In mid October he passed 
through the land of the Catawba Indians where he reports; "there 
being no white man's house on all the road" 14 he spent the night out- 
of-doors for the first time since leaving Pennsylvania. Several pages of 
the journal are missing so we do not know exactly how far he contin- 
ued into South Carolina, but he was there for about a month before he 
"set out for the Yadkin" on November 24th. On his return, he revisit- 
ed and preached again at a number of the places he had been to as 
he came south. Just after Christmas, he preached two Sundays at 
Cathey's Meeting House (Thyatira), and it is certain that some of the 
Fourth Creek people went down to hear him, even if he did not get to 

John Thompson 43 

the Fourth Creek community to preach during the intervening week. 
After stopping again with the people he had met between the Yadkin 
and the Virginia line, in mid-January McAden turned eastward to the 
Presbyterian settlements along the Cape Fear. He was in eastern Car- 
olina for three months before making his way northward. The journal 
ends May 9th 1756 when he got to the James River in Virginia. 

Three years later McAden returned to Carolina where he became 
the settled Pastor of the congregations in Duplin and New Hanover. 
It is not possible to pinpoint the exact locations of many of the places 
he ministered on the missionary journey recorded in his journal, but 
it is certain that the piedmont area of the Carolinas became one of the 
strongholds of the Presbyterian Church in America, and that many 
of the places where he preached developed strong churches which 
continue to this day. 

Footnotes to Chapter V 

1. Leyburn, op. cit., p. 215 

2. Klett's edition Minutes of the Presbyterian Church, op. cit., p. 197 

3. Ibid, p. 24 

4. Ibid, p. 28 

5. Howard McK. Wilson, The Lexington Presbytery Heritage, (1971: Verona, VA) p. 41 

6. unsigned, unpublished paper The First Missionary in Iredell County, found in files of N. R. 

McGeachy, p. 2 

7. Ramsey, op. cit., p. 187 

8. Klett's Minutes ... op. cit. p. 237 

9. "The First Missionary in Iredell County" op. cit., p. 4 

10. John K. Fleming, History of the Third Presbyterian Church (1967: Raleigh, Office of Synod of 

11. Manners and Customs in 'Old Times" in Iredell County', article from The Carolina Watchman, Sep- 
tember 7, 1847. 

12. Klett's Minutes ... op. cit. p. 238 

13. Ibid. p. 243 

14. William Henry Foote, Sketches of North Carolina (1846: New York) p. 169 



Photo of one of the original cornerstones of Statesville located within the Fourth Creek 
Burying Ground stone wall. 

Chapter Six 

French and Indian Wars 

Events were occurring which strongly influenced frontier settle- 
ments at the time of McAden's trip. France and England had 
overlapping claims to the territory west of the Appalachians. 
The French had built four forts in the disputed territory and there was 
strong sentiment to drive them from North America. A war had bro- 
ken out against the French and their Indian allies in 1754, and the 
Governors of Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts met with Gener- 
al Braddock who had come from England with a detachment of 
troops. Plans were approved for the General to lead a combined force 
of British redcoats and colonial troops through the wilderness to cap- 
ture the French forts. The French detachments were small and could 
have been overpowered without the help they received from the Indi- 
ans of the area. About 700 Indians had assembled at Fort Duquesne, 
the present site of Pittsburgh, during the month of Braddock's 
advance. The two sides met on July 9, 1755 and the British were 

McAden was moving through the Valley of Virginia and had 
reached the area of the "Forks of James", present Rockbridge Coun- 
ty, when he heard of what had happened. In his journal he wrote: 

"Here it was I received the melancholy news of the entire defeat of our 
army by the French, the General killed, numbers of the inferior officers, 
and the whole artillery taken. This together with the frequent account 
of fresh murders being daily committed upon the frontiers, struck ter- 
ror to every heart. A cold shuddering possessed every breast, and pale- 
ness covered almost every face. In short, the whole inhabitants were put 
into a universal confusion. Scarce any man durst sleep in his own house 
— but all met in companies with their wives and children, and set about 
building little fortifications to defend themselves from such barbar- 
ians and inhuman enemies whom they concluded would be let loose 
upon them at pleasure." l 

As the word of Braddock's defeat spread across the frontier, many 


of the settlers feared for their safety. A large number of those who had 
chosen home places on the edges of settlement packed up and fled 
from what they had hoped would be their permanent homes. Hun- 
dreds from western Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia sought to 
get away from the threatening Indians. Some stopped in southern Vir- 
ginia. Others moved east toward the older settlements but most, hear- 
ing that the Indians were not as much a threat in Carolina, made this 
colony their objective. 

In addition the new settlers, whether just arrived from Ireland or 
completing their indentures and ready to find places of their own, 
thronged down the Wagon Road and passed on into the Carolina 
Country. Some of them moved into the Fourth Creek community. 

Hugh McAden recorded that on Sabbath, September 21, 1755 he 
preached at Coddle Creek and rode to the home of David Templeton. 
On his way he: 

"Came up with a large company of men, women and children, who had 
fled for their lives from the Cow or Calf Pasture in Virginia; from whom 
I received the melancholy account, that the Indians were still doing a 
great deal of mischief in those parts, by murdering and destroying sev- 
eral of the inhabitants, and banishing the rest from their houses and liv- 
ings, whereby they are forced to flee into desert places." 2 

The Reverend Alexander Craighead, a "new side" minister, had 
been the Pastor of Windy Cove Church on the Cowpasture River in the 
mountains west of present day Lexington, Virginia. After Braddock's 
defeat, almost the whole settlement fled for safety. A number of the 
refugees settled in the Sugar Creek and Rocky River congregations. 
Hanover Presbytery, which had been founded in 1755 by the Synod 
of New York (new side), with Craighead as one of the six original min- 
ister members, in April 1758 approved a call from Rocky River Church 
for Craighead to become their minister. It was November before a 
member of Presbytery could come to install him. He was Pastor of 
Rocky River and Sugar Creek, but between the installation and his 
death in 1766, he preached to a number of the Scotch-Irish congrega- 
tions which had grown up in the Piedmont. From time to time between 
1758 and 1766, Alexander Craighead was one of the ministers who 
supplied Fourth Creek Congregation. Hanover Presbytery included 
responsibility for North and South Carolina, as well as a few congre- 
gations in Georgia. In 1762, Hanover ordered Alexander Craighead 
and James Hunt to supply Fourth Creek "two Sabbaths each during 
the coming year." Other appointments were made by the Synod. 

French and Indian Wars 47 

Troubles with the Indians led to the establishment of Fort Dobbs, 
about a mile from the Fourth Creek congregation's first preaching 
stand. Arthur Dobbs, a native of Ireland, was appointed by King 
George II to be Governor of North Carolina, succeeding Governor 
Rowan. He arrived in Hampton, Virginia in the fall of 1754 and after 
meeting with the Governor of Virginia, went directly to Newbern 
where the Colonial Assembly met. He took the oath of office as Gov- 
ernor of the Colony on October 31, 1754. One of the first things that he 
did in his new office was to have a survey made of North Carolina 
defenses. He found them to be practically non-existant. On his trip 
across the ocean he had brought 1,000 firelocks and a few pieces of 
cannon as a gift to the Province from the Crown, but these had not yet 
been delivered. On November 9, 1754 he wrote the Board of Trade: 

"There is not one pound of gunpowder or shot in store in the province, 
nor any arms, and those given me by His Majesty are not yet arrived 
from Virginia though hourly expected ... nor is there twelve barrells 
of powder in Traders hands ... It will be necessary to erect a fort beyond 
our farthest settlers to protect that frontier and our Indian allies." 3 

Governor Dobbs had a partial interest in a large grant of land 
between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers, the "Henry McCulloh grant." 
His claim was for 200,000 acres along Rocky River. In the summer of 
1755, the Governor set out for the western frontier "to view my lands 
and at the same time the western frontier and fix a place to station our 
frontier company." He reported crossing the Yadkin river and coming 
to "Salisbury Town, which has seven or eight log houses and the court 
house." 4 

After viewing a part of his claim, Dobbs met with Captain Hugh 
Waddell near Third Creek. Waddell was only 21 but had already faced 
the Indian threat. He had gone as a Lieutenant with Colonel Innes' 
Regiment of North Carolina troops, which went to Virginia in January 
1754 at the request of Governor Dinwiddie to assist in facing the threat 
of French and their Indian allies. His service during this expedition led 
to his being promoted to Captain. A letter from Governor Dinwiddie 
to Governor Dobbs written February 8, 1755 commends Waddell and 
says: "I am of Opinion y't the Com(pany) for Captain Waddall may be 
established at 40 Men under the Denominat'n of Rangers on Y'r fron- 
tier Settlements." 5 Dobbs followed the recommendation and, with the 
approval of the Assembly, named Hugh Waddell as Captain of a 
Ranger Company to serve on the frontier. When the Governor pre- 
pared to travel to the west to "view his lands", he instructed Captain 


Waddell "with our Frontier Company to scout up to the edges of the 
mountains." 6 

After their reconnaissance, the Frontier Company came back to the 
settlements and Waddell met with the Governor to pick out a site for 
the defensive fort to be built. In reporting on the site selection, Dobbs 
wrote that he "... proceeded Northward to the Latitude 35° 40' to the 
Third Creek which falls into the South Yadkin, where I found an Emi- 
nence and good springs . . ." 7 He made an error in describing the loca- 
tion saying Third Creek when the party had actually reached Fourth 
Creek. This site was selected because it was "... most central to assist 
the back settlers as it was beyond the well settled Country, only strag- 
gling settlements behind them, and if I had placed them beyond the 
Settlements without a fortification they might be exposed, and be no 
retreat for the Settlers, and the Indians might pass them and murder 
the Inhabitants and retire before they durst go to give them notice . . ." 8 
It was on his return eastward that Dobbs heard of Gen. Braddock's 
defeat. Captain Waddell was left at the selected site to oversee con- 
struction of the new fort. Governor Dobbs moved to meet the threat. 
The militia of Rowan and Anson Counties were called to active duty 
and instructed to put "out a piquet (picket) to be chosen out of the 
most active men of the Militia of each County, with a chosen officer at 
their head of fifty men each, and a central place for rendezvous to be 
fixed for each Northward and Southward of our Frontier Company, to 
be under Captain Waddell's command, to join him when necessary or 
for him to march to assist them in case of any incursion . . ." 9 

In the fall of 1755, Waddell carried through on the construction of 
"Fort Dobbs". It has been suggested that the "eminence" upon which 
the fort was built was clear of trees, as would be expected from the 
description of the country given above. They built it of oak logs 
,hauled in from the creek bottoms. Dr. Rockwell describes the fort as 
"a block house of an oblong shape. 53 feet long by 43 wide; 24 feet 
high and had three floors, from each of which muskets to the num- 
ber of 100 could be discharged at once." 10 

Before Fort Dobbs was built, a number of neighborhood strong 
points had been built as places of refuge by the settlers. Some of these 
were blockhouses, others just stockades, but in time of danger, sever- 
al families living near each other would gather at them for their mutu- 
al protection. In the middle of the last century, Dr. Rockwell made a 
special search to discover these sites. He found the location of eight 
"forts" in the area along Third Creek, Fourth Creek, and Fifth Creek. 

French and Indian Wars 49 

At the time of his investigation, he was able to find remnants of a few 
of them a hundred years after their use, but most remained only in the 
memories of some of the oldest citizens, who remembered one or 
more of them from their childhood. He tells of talking to a Mrs. Mays 
who spoke of seeing the old building several miles east of Fort Dobbs 
before it fell down. She told Dr. Rockwell that Henry Reed had lived 
in the fortified house and an elderly man by the name of James Wil- 
son had said he was born there. 

For a few years after the Fort was built, its presence and that of the 
Frontier Company kept things quiet in this region. A new treaty with 
the Catawbas had made allies out of them, and the Cherokees usual- 
ly kept to the mountains. In December 1757, Captain Waddell was 
sent, commanding three North Carolina companies, on another expe- 
dition against Fort Duquesne in western Pennsylvania. This attempt 
succeeded where that of Braddock had failed. The French then con- 
centrated their efforts on turning the southern Indians against the 
British colonies. 

Attacks by the Cherokees began to increase along the whole fron- 
tier from the Yadkin down into Georgia, and in May 1758 the people 
of Rowan County (still including Iredell) appealed to the Assembly to 
continue Captain Andrew Bailey and his company at Fort Dobbs. 
They cited recent murders on the Dan River which "hath occasioned 
the Inhabitants of the Forks of Yadkin to leave their settlements." 11 
Many of the residents of Fourth Creek Community retreated to the 
safety of Fort Dobbs after eight members of the John Hannah family 
who had lived near Fort Dobbs were killed in an Indian raid. When 
it came time to pay taxes for the year to the County, John Oliphant, 
John and William Ireland, Andrew Morrison, and John Purviance, all 
from Fourth Creek, appealed to the Rowan County Court to be 
excused from being deliquent in paying their taxes since they had 
been forced from their lands by the Indians. 12 

After the victory over Fort Duquesne, the troops which had gone 
on that expedition were discharged or sent to the coastal defenses. For 
a time Fort Dobbs did not have a resident body of troops. Defense was 
left in the hands of the militias of the frontier counties. In July 1760, 
after the more recent outrages by the Indians, Captain Waddell was 
ordered back to Fort Dobbs with thirty soldiers from Fort Johnston 
and Captain Bailey with thirty from Ocracoke. The Cherokees were 
enraged when a conflict with some South Carolina troops resulted in 
the killing of twentyfour Cherokee hostages. The whole Cherokee 


nation responded with a series of strikes against the white settlers. 
Fort Dobbs was chosen to be a recipient of their vengeance. 

On the evening of February 27, 1760 there occurred the only battle 
Fort Dobbs was engaged in of which we have record. The best account 
of the battle we have is in Hugh Waddell's report written the next day 
to the Governor. The story is probably well known to those who read 
this account, so rather than copying the whole report here, I will give 
Dr. Rockwell's 1876 summary: 

"Their approach was indicated by an unusual barking of the dogs. An 
officer was directed to take a squad of men and drive them away and 
when he was reluctant to go, the officer in command (Waddell) said that 
he would go himself. He drew up his men in a line outside the fort, 
with the officers at each end; these the enemy aimed most of all to kill. 
Being in large force they fired once and advanced with their usual war- 
whoop and drove the men back into the fortification. They then made 
a desperate attempt to take it, but in vain. The well directed fire of the 
muskets from three floors, with the execution to the two cannon was 
too much for them, and they soon withdrew. It is supposed that they 
lost a large number of men, as the next morning a great deal of blood 
was found on the leaves and on the ground." 13 

Waddell reported that his casualties were "two men wounded one of 
whom I am afraid will die as he is scalped, the other is in a way of 
recovery, and one boy killed near the fort whom they durst not 
advance to scalp." 14 

There were other smaller raids by parties of Cherokee, but after the 
capture of Quebec in the fall of 1760, the French were no longer a 
threat. When George III succeeded his father as king, a peace confer- 
ence was arranged, covering all the conflicts in the Seven Years War in 
Europe and particularly the French, Spanish and English colonial 
claims. In the Treaty of Paris, 1783, France surrendered its claim to 
America east of the Mississippi, and the way was opened for new set- 
tlement west of the Appalachians. 

Fort Dobbs continued to be manned for a time, but the close of the 
French and Indian War, as it was called in America, ended the need for 
the strong point, and the fort was officially closed on March 3, 1764. 
The Assembly ordered that the rest of the supplies stored there should 
be transferred to Salisbury. Fort Dobbs was used again as a refuge 
when the Cherokees rose up against the settlers in 1776, and there 
are reports that it was a rendezvous for the militia at the time of the 
American Revolution. 

French and Indian Wars 51 

Tradition says that the fort was destroyed by fire after years of being 
abandoned. A hundred years ago there was a commonly held story 
which said that the "Stevenson school house" was built of logs 
brought from Fort Dobbs. A picture of the ruins of the school is includ- 
ed in the April 4, 1909 article on Fort Dobbs in the Charlotte Daily 
Observer . 

The French and Indian War made a strong impact on the growing 
Fourth Creek community and the rest of the Carolina frontier. There 
was the Indian threat; the large number of new settlers who moved in 
to get away from what was perceived as greater danger in the colonies 
to the north; and the added difficulty they had in securing ministeri- 
al leadership to meet their spiritual needs. The people continued to 
send supplications to the Synods and Presbyteries asking for minis- 
ters to come to their communities. Frequently these appeals spoke of 
"their distressing condition for want of a preached Gospel among 
them" 15 and specifically asked that a minister be sent to them to 
administer the sacraments of the Church. The "new side" Synod of 
New York was especially alert to these cries and repeatedly appoint- 
ed one or more of their members to go to the vacancies in Virginia and 
North Carolina for missionary tours of three to six months. The ones 
assigned to go were either pastors of settled churches for whom their 
presbyteries arranged to provide supply for their pulpits while they 
were gone, or young men, who having completed their theological 
studies as a part of their preparation for ordination came south for a 
"trial of their gifts". 

Through the years of the war missionaries continued to be assigned 
to go to Virginia and North Carolina, but many of them did not ful- 
fill their appointments for what they considered to be legitimate rea- 
sons. The service of those who did come played a major part in the 
development of the Presbyterian Church in the southern colonies. In 
1755, the same year that the Synod of Philadelphia sent Messrs. 
William Donaldson, Matthew Wilson, and William McKenan to sup- 
ply "ye back parts", the Synod of New York, in response to "Sundry 
Petitions from Various Parts of North Carolina", appointed John 
Brainerd and Elihu Spencer "to take a journey there before Winter, & 
supply the Vacant Congregations there & in Parts adjacent, for Six 
Months, or as long as they shall think necessary... "16 We shall see 
more of Mr. Spencer below, but here it would be well to note a bit 
about John Brainerd. He was a Connecticut native and received his 
education at Yale, graduating in 1746. John's life and ministry were 


strongly influenced by that of his older brother David. From 1743 
through 1746 David Brainerd was a Missionary to the Indians under 
the auspices of the Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge 
(S.RC.K.) in Scotland. David died at the age of 29 in 1747. John had 
begun to work with his brother and stayed with the ministry to the 
Indians after David left because of health. In 1748 the S.RC.K. request- 
ed John to take charge of the Indian work, and he was ordained to this 
ministry in February 1748. He continued until dismissed by the Soci- 
ety in May 1755. The next October was the time that he was appoint- 
ed to undertake the six month trip, during which he spent some time 
with the Fourth Creek Congregation. Brainerd then returned to the 
north where he became the leader of Presbyterian work with the Indi- 
ans, helping organize and then conducting a school for the Indians, 
which received financial support from the Synod, Presbyteries and 
some individual congregations. His influence is shown by the way the 
Minutes of Synod always refer to this work as "Brainerd's School." 

The year after Brainerd and Spencer had come on their mission 
under instruction of the new side Synod, the old side Synod of 
Philadelphia appointed one of their members, John Alison, to make 
a visit to the southern congregations. At this time, the two branches of 
the Presbyterian Church were seeking to come to an agreement on 
which they could reunite. The instructions given to Alison are partic- 
ularly interesting, as they show the attitude that moved toward 
reunion which was finally attained in 1758. 

"Ordered that Mr. John Alison Supply those Vacancies next Fall & Win- 
ter. And the Synod reccommend it to him & all Such as may be Sent by 
Us to Supply these distant Parts, to Study in all their Publick Adminis- 
trations & private Conversations to promote Peace & Unity among the 
Societies, & to avoid whatever may tend to foment Division, & Party 
Spirit; And to treat every Minister of the Gospel from the Synod of New 
York of the like Principles & peaceful Temper in a brotherly Manner. As 
we desire to promote the true Religion & Not Party Designs. And that 
the Synod resolve to Send a Copy of these Instructions to our Brethren 
of the Synod of New York hoping they will reccommend the like Con- 
duct to any they Send thither." 17 

We do not know whether this John Alison was a relative of the 
Allisons of Fourth Creek Community, but if he were, it is probable that 
this is one of the places he preached on his missionary tour. 

Negotiations looking toward reunion of the "old side" and "new 
side" continued for years. At every meeting of each Synod a major 

French and Indian Wars 53 

part of the time was spent in preparing communications to the other, 
seeking to reduce the disagreements or responding to messages they 
exchanged. Finally, in May 1758, both Synods met separately in 
Philadelphia, approved a plan of union, and reorganized themselves 
as the Synod of New York and Philadelphia. Hanover Presbytery, cov- 
ering Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia which had been established 
by the Synod of New York in 1755, was one of the constituent pres- 
byteries of the new Synod. 

By this time, the people of Fourth Creek had moved from the "Alli- 
son Grave Yard" stand to the place they later chose to erect their first 
building. In the 1758 deed of Fergus and Elizabeth Sloan to the 
Trustees for Fourth Creek Congregation for %ths of an acre for use as 
a burying ground, Sloan reserved a right to bury members of his own 
family there. This would seem to indicate that a family cemetery 
already existed there and it is possible that other burials had taken 
place as well. There is no marker for the grave of her husband, but in 
the third row of graves a recent stone is engraved "Elizabeth Robin- 
son Sloan Wife of Fergus Sloan, who gave the land for the 4th Creek 
Graveyard". In his 1870 History of Fourth Creek Church, Dr. Rockwell 
says that the congregation's first building was "probably rather a tem- 
porary structure of logs, but from the number of families attending 
at that time, and the general fact that most of them had a large num- 
ber of children, from eight to fifteen each, it must have been capacious. 
It stood near the northeast corner of the grave yard." 18 Work on the 
log building continued for two years before it was completed in 1757. 
Perhaps the folks hoped that having a church building would help 
them to secure a minister to come and live among them. When McA- 
den had been through in 1755, he speaks of many of the places he 
preached as being in "meeting houses". He does not identify the con- 
gregations, but from his descriptions, we judge that Cathey's Meeting 
House (Thyatira) was one and the "new meeting house" near Captain 
Osborne's (Centre) another. The fact that neighboring settlements had 
buildings, encouraged Fourth Creek to build one of its own. 

At the time they moved into their new building, the Indian wars 
were still going on, making their effort to secure a minister difficult, 
but they kept trying. Hanover Presbytery's minutes for April 1762 
show that they had before them petitions from fifteen groups asking 
for ministerial service. Included in those listed is "Fourth Creek in 
Roan (sic) County". The minutes of almost every Synod meeting show 
new supplications from the people of the Carolina and Virginia back 


country. Assignments were made but few reported that they had ful- 
filled their appointments. Other than the visits by Alexander Craig- 
head and James Hunt in obedience to the 1762 instruction by Hanover 
Presbytery, there were only rare occasions when the people of Fourth 
Creek had the opportunity to worship under the leadership of a min- 
ister between 1755 and 1764. 

Footnotes to Chapter VI 

1. Journal of Hugh McAden in William Henry Foote's Sketches of North Carolina (1846, New York) 

p. 163 

2. Ibid 

3. "Fort Dobbs", article in Charlotte Daily Observer, April 4, 1909. p. 4 

4. Ibid 

5. Saunders, Colonial Records, op. cit. Vol V, p. 353 - 364 

6. Ibid 

7. Ibid 

8. Ibid 

9. Neill R. McGeachy, unpublished notes for address on Fort Dobbs Bicentennial p. 14 

10. E. F. Rockwell, "First Settlement In Iredell County", July 4, 1876 historical address , p. 2 

11. Saunders, op. cit. Vol VI, p. 229-230 

12. Homer M. Keever, Iredell Piedmont County (1976: Statesville) p. 35 

13. E. F. Rockwell, "First Settlement. . . " op. cit. p. 3 

14. Saunders, op. cit. Vol VI, p. 229-230 

15. Klett's edition, "Minutes..." op. cit. p. 297 

16. Ibid 

17. Ibid p. 249 

18. Rockwell, History..., op. cit. p. 7 

Chapter Seven 

Fourth Creek Church Organized 

After about fifteen years of gathering as a fellowship of faith, 
and nine years after erecting their first log meeting house, the 
Fourth Creek Congregation was organized as a church. They 
had desired to have their own church ever since the first of them had 
come into this wilderness. Places for common worship were estab- 
lished and the locations changed to meet their needs better. At every 
opportunity they had taken advantage of the chance to have a quali- 
fied minister preach to them. Year after year they had appealed to the 
governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church for missionaries to be 
sent to their community. For all practical purposes they had been a 
church, but had never been formally organized in accord with the 
Presbyterian standards to which they were committed. 

The Synod of New York and Philadelphia was conscious of the needs 
of the frontier settlements. Hanover Presbytery was not able to supply 
the many vacancies in its area and, with the worst of the Indian threat 
being passed, the Synod took steps to assist. On May 23, 1764 meeting 
in "Elizabeth Town", New Jersey, they took the following action: 

"The Synod more particularly considering the State of many Congre- 
gations to the Southward & particularly N. Carolina, & the great impor- 
tance of having these Congregations properly organized, appoint the 
Rev'd Mess Elihu Spencer & Alexr McWhorter to go as our missionar- 
ies for that purpose." 1 

Both Alexander McWhorter and Elihu Spencer were already famil- 
iar with the North Carolina area. After the death of his father in 1748, 
McWhorter and his mother had moved to be with three of her chil- 
dren who had already settled in North Carolina. He lived there until 
age 17 when he returned north for his education. He graduated at 
Princeton in 1757 and was ordained by New Brunswick Presbytery in 
1759 after accepting a call to the Newark, New Jersey Church. When 
the Synod appointmented him to make the missionary journey, 


McWhorter welcomed the opportunity to visit his friends and kin in 
North Carolina after a separation of twelve years, but this trip came 
very close to costing him his life. "While in Carolina he was attacked 
with a bilious fever incident to the climate, which left him with an 
affection of the lungs which, for two years, seemed likely to have fatal 
issue." 2 The usual term for a missionary tour was for three or six 
months, but it was two years before McWhorter was able to return to 
his congregation in Newark. 

Elihu Spencer had made his first missionary visit to North Caroli- 
na nine years before, when he had accompanied John Brainard on the 
six month visit appointed by Synod. The two were college mates and 
friends and had worked together on the mission to the Indians in the 
late 1740s. Spencer had been Pastor of the church in Elizabeth Town, 
N. J. when Governor De Lancey offered him an appointment to be 
Chaplain of the New York troops leaving to serve in the war with the 
French. It was at the close of his ministry in Elizabeth Town that 
Synod sent McWhorter and him on the mission to the south. 

The instructions given to them were much more detailed than the 
ones usually included in earlier missionary appointments. In visiting 
the congregations "to the Southward" they were to: 

"form Societies — help them in adjusting their bounds — Ordain Elders 
Administer sealing Ordinances — instruct the People in Discipline And 
finally direct them in their conduct, particularly in what manner they 
shall proceed to obtain the Stated Ministry & whatever else may appear 
useful or necessary for those Chs [churches) & the future settlement of 
the Gospel among them. And also that they assure those people wher- 
ever they go, that this Synod has their interest much at heart, & will 
neglect no opportunities of affording them proper candidates & Sup- 
plies to the utmost of our power." 3 

We do not have a way of identifying exactly which congregations 
of worshippers were "put in order" by McWhorter and Spencer, but 
there is general agreement that of the "eleven historical churches of 
Western North Carolina", at least eight were organized by them on 
their 1764 visit. These would include: Fourth Creek, Cathey's Meet- 
ing, Centre, and Poplar Tent, and further south the congregations of 
Sugar Creek, Rocky River, Unity (Lincoln), and Steele Creek. Most 
of these were already twelve to twenty years old when their orga- 
nizations were formalized under the leadership of these two men. 
They also visited other preaching points in the area which were to 
become churches in the next few years. 

Fourth Creek Church Organized 57 

When Fourth Creek was established as an organized church, the 
first elders were installed. Those selected in 1764 to hold this office 
were James Barr, Andrew McEnzie, John Murdock (Mordah?), John 
Stevenson, and W. M. Stevenson. These formed the first Session and 
were alone in charge of the spiritual affairs of the congregation until 
the coming of their first pastor in 1778. Some of them may have been 
elders in congregations in the communities from which they moved 
to the Fourth Creek area. In any case these probably had been the per- 
sons whom the congregation had looked to as their leaders in the 
years before the formal organization. Mention has already been made 
of others who held a place of responsibility for the congregation ear- 
lier. When Fergus and Elizabeth Sloan sold the cemetery property in 
1758 the trustees to whom the transfer was made were Thomas Alli- 
son, Patrick Duffie, Robert Simonton, William Simonton, and Samuel 
Thornton. Each of these had lived previously in Pennsylvania before 
coming to the Fourth Creek community. They are included with the 
sixty- two heads of families who had settled here before 1762 accord- 
ing to Ramsey's study in "Carolina Cradle". He shows the locations 
of their homesites on a sketch map of "The Fourth Creek Settlement 
1750 - 62". 3 

The ministry of Elihu Spencer to this people was particularly appre- 
ciated. McWhorter and Spencer reported on the fulfillment of their 
"Mission to the Southward" at the next meeting of Synod on May 16, 
1765. Carney's settlement (now Thyatira Church) joined Fourth Creek 
in extending a call to Spencer to become their minister. Synod pre- 
sented the call to him and also received: 

"a supplication for supplies from the inhabitants of North Carolina, liv- 
ing between the waters of Yadkin & Catawba Rivers; and Particularly 
for the removal of Mr. Spencer and Mr. McWhorter to settle among 
them. And two other supplications from the Congregations of Bethel & 
Poplar Tent in Mecklenburg County in ye same colony, for supplies." 4 

In addition to these, four other calls or appeals for supply were 
received from churches in the Carolina back country at this meeting. 
Synod declined to approve a call to Mr. McWhorter from Centre and 
Hopewell Churches, but in response to these supplications, did 
appoint six of their ministers to go "as soon as possible & each of them 
to tarry half a year in these vacant Congregations, as Prudence may 
direct." 5 By the time of the next Synod meeting four of them, Nathan 
Ker, George Duffield, David Caldwell, and Robert McMordie, report- 


ed that they had complied with their appointments. 

Apparently Mr. Spencer gave the people of Fourth Creek and 
Catheys settlement indication that he would accept the call they had 
extended. Dr Rockwell reports that the congregations sent wagons to 
New Jersey to move him and his family back to North Carolina. A 
group of older men had accompanied the wagons, but when they 
arrived, a difficulty arose. Spencer asked for assurance that they 
would restore his wife to her friends in New Jersey in case he should 
die in a short time. This was not an unreasonable request in view of 
the unsettled conditions in the country at that time. However, the mes- 
sengers felt that they had no authority to make such a pledge so the 
minister declined to come. The wagons were turned around and made 
the long trek home without him. It would be another twelve years 
before Fourth Creek secured their own pastor after the installation of 
James Hall in 1778. 

The people in the new Fourth Creek Church made various efforts 
to secure ministerial leadership. The same year that they extended a 
call to Elihu Spencer through the Synod, an appeal had gone to their 
Presbytery, probably from one or more of the Rowan County church- 
es organized by McWhorter and Spencer. The Minutes of Hanover 
Presbytery include a letter which the governing body sent to "Roan" 
(sic) County. It is worth noting for what it shows of the conditions here 
and of Presbytery's concern for its frontier churches. The letter dated 
May 3, 1765 says: 

"We received your supplication . . . and sincerely lament your destitute 
situation, through the want of public ordinances, and our own inabili- 
ty to supply your wants, and those of other Vacancies within our scat- 
tered and extensive bounds. We look on it as a hopeful symptom, and 
bless God for it, that you shew yourselves solicitous about the means of 
salvation; and we hope the great shepherd of the flock, will command; 
in his own good time, some to feed his sheep & lambs among you, & to 
gather others to his fold. And in the mean time we resolve to embrace 
every opportunity of promoting your best interests; earnestly recom- 
mending to you to maintain the communion of the saints in grace, 
praising God & praying to him, exhorting & edifying one another, in 
your proper stations as Christians, till some proper instrument come to 
you, in fuller blessings of the gospel of Christ.. . . 

Subscribed by order of the Presbytery." 6 

When the Synod met in 1768, it had supplications before it from 
twentyeight congregations in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. 

Fourth Creek Church Organized 59 

Fourth Creek is one of those listed. Response was given in appointing 
seven of its members to take six month journeys southward. At the 
next year's Synod, five of them are reported as having fulfilled their 
assignments. The one of these who had come to Rowan was appar- 
ently John McCreary, for Fourth Creek and Cathey's Settlement joined 
in a supplication that they receive supply "especially by Mr. 
McCreary". Instead, Synod sent him to western Pennsylvania that 
year, but the two churches were persistent in their requests for this 
man. In 1770 the Synod appointed him "to supply in the Carolinas for 
6 months to set out as soon as possible & it is recommended that he 
spend a considerable part of his time at Cathys (sic) Settlement and 
Fourth Creek & the Presbytery of N(ew) Castle is ordered to supply 
his pulpit during his absence." 7 His reasons are not given, but the next 
year Synod excused his failure to make the trip to Carolina and in 1771 
reappointed him "to visit the Settlements betwix the Yadkin and 
Catawba Rivers and continue among them for three months." Appar- 
ently he did make this trip, but the mission was not completed for it 
is reported that "Mr. McCreary... by sickness is prevented returning." 8 

At the 1770 meeting, Hanover Presbytery was divided and the 
churches in North Carolina and southward were erected as the new 
Presbytery of Orange. Hanover had met within North Carolina four 
times between 1765 and 1770. It was at the fourth of these, March 7, 
1770, in Buffalo Church (north of Greensboro) that the application 
requesting division of the Presbytery was signed by six ministers who 
resided in Carolina. Two months later the Synod of New York and 
Philadelphia authorized establishment of Orange Presbytery and 
appointed them to hold their first meeting at Hawfields on September 
5, 1770. Synod went ahead to state: ".. .the Vacancies in these parts are 
allowed the Same liberty of applying to the Synod for Supplies as they 
have had in several cases heretofore." 7 Through its earliest years the 
Fourth Creek congregation had no presbytery relationship except 
through the missionaries who came to them, most of whom were 
members of New Castle Presbytery. When Hanover Presbytery was 
set off in 1755, they were in its territory. This was their presbytery from 
their organization in 1764 until Orange Presbytery was established 
in 1770. 

When Dr. Rockwell was working on the history of Fourth Creek 
Church, he made a number of discoveries, which have served to 
enrich greatly our knowledge of the early days of Presbyterianism in 
Iredell County. He traced down the oldest residents and found out 


what they could tell him of the days before the time of his pastorate 
here (1840-1850). As best as we can determine, he discovered the 
famed 1773 map of Fourth Creek Congregation by William Sharpe, 
recognized its value and had copies of it made. Apparently he had 
access to records that are no longer available. In his 1871 history of 
Fourth Creek, he quotes from a document which he says was "found 
in the hands of a member of Concord Congregation many years ago/' 
He says the paper was entitled "A Remonstrance to the North Car- 
olina Presbytery which is to set in April 1773." It is most fortunate that 
this copy was made available to Rockwell, for the original files of 
Orange Presbytery and its Minutes covering the first twenty-six years 
of its life were burned in a fire at the home of its clerk, the Reverend 
John Witherspoon near Hillsboro on January 1, 1827. Much of what an 
historian would like to know of the early days of Presbyterianism in 
the south was destroyed in that tragic fire. 

Some of the members of the congregation desired to have the 
church divided into two parts, one part to remain at the "old meet- 
ing house", the other to build a new meeting house at a location more 
convenient to where they lived. The Remonstrance, probably written 
in late 1772 or early 1773, is quoted by Dr. Rockwell in his rlistory of 
Fourth Creek: 

"The petition of the members of Fourth Creek congregation, humbly 
showeth, that your petitioners have been congregated upwards of 
twenty years; and the place of worship in said congregation hath like- 
wise been fixed this sixteen or seventeen years; and known by the name 
of Fourth Creek Meeting House. Sometime last fall (1772) a number of 
people that live nigh or adjoining to the northern boundary of said con- 
gregation, made a motion to have a division of said congregation, in 
order to have another house of worship, and nominated sixteen men to 
carry the same into execution, and made an order that any thirteen of 
them agreeing on any point relating therto should be final; by which 
nomination and rule they were sure to carry their point, as they had 
thirteen of said panel nigh upon their own border." 10 

The naming of sixteen persons to the committee may have come 
from what they had been familiar with in courts in Scotland where a 
jury was composed of sixteen, twelve of whom had to agree on every 

The communication continues: 

"At another meeting the aforesaid persons and thirteen of the men 
nominated to make the division, and a number more of other extreme 

Fourth Creek Church Organized 61 

parts of the congregation proposed that the old meeting [house] should 
be dropped altogether, and that the congregation should be divided 
and two new meeting houses should be built, which would cut off a 
part of the South side altogether; which would be quite too far for them 
to attend, and proceeded to appoint two places; such as they said they 
thought most suitable to build said houses, and would pay no regard 
to anything offered to the contrary by the interior parts of said congre- 
gation which was the only persons that was at the cost and trouble of 
building the old house, and also of supporting what small measures 
of the Gospel, God and his Providence has allowed them." 11 

The supplication to Presbytery concludes: 

"Now Rev. Fathers, we beg and beseech you to take these our griev- 
ances under your consideration, and grant unto us the benefit of that 
Rule of Presbytery by you made at a Presbytery held at Cathy's Meet- 
ing House last year, which we think 7 miles round said house will be 
sufficiently able to support and maintain a gospel minister in a decent 
manner." 12 

The locations proposed for the new buildings at the second meet- 
ing were selected in accord with the action of Presbytery, which said 
that each church should have an area extending seven miles in each 
direction in order to be free from the intrusion of another congrega- 
tion. This seven mile limit may have had something to do with the 
proposal to abandon the old meeting house. In any case, the old site 
was not abandoned, and when two additional churches were built, the 
seven mile limit was not adhered to. 

It was in connection with the controversy about the proposed divi- 
sion of the congregation that the most important extant document 
concerning Fourth Creek Church was produced. In his search for the 
background of the church, Dr. Rockwell discovered the Sharpe map of 
1773 in the hands of Alexander Nisbett, Esq. He had a limited number 
of lithographs of it made in 1847. 

The map covers the area which was Fourth Creek Congregation 
and was drawn in ink by William Sharpe, a lawyer and future mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress. The center is about two miles west 
of the meeting house and from that point is laid off in a series of 
eleven concentric circles one mile apart. Thus it covers a tract twen- 
ty-two miles in diameter, from the Catawba on the South-west and 
beyond Rocky Creek on the north. It includes a major part of Third 
Creek, Fourth Creek, Fifth Creek, South Yadkin and Snow Creek. 
The whole is divided roughly into quarters, with the east-west line 


cutting through the center and the north-south line through the old 
meeting house, which is about a mile south of the east-west line. The 
map names and locates the homes of 196 families and, being drawn 
within twenty-five years of the first settlement, would include the 
names of the pioneers who first came to what was to be Iredell 

The four quarters have an unequal number of residents with the 
northeast showing 54 family homes, the north-west having seventh- 
five,thirty in the southeast and thirty-seven in the south-west. In 
addition to the 196 homes identified with the residents' names, there 
are six locations of houses indicated without a name attached to 
them. The family names shown are: Adams, Alexander, Allison, 
Andrew, Archibald, Bailie, Beard, Beattie, Bell, Black, Bones, 
Bowman, Boyd, Brown, Caldwell, Carson, Cavin, Chambers, 
Clendenon, Cooper, Davis, Dobbins, Dobson, Duffie, Edmunds, 
Fleming, Forgey, Freeland, Graham, Gray, Griffeth, Guthrie, Guy, 
Harden, Hall, Hamilton, Harris, Henderson, Henry, Hill, Holmes, 
Houston, Ireland, Irvin, Johnson, Kilpatrich, King, Knox, Leach, 
Locke, Logan, Long, McCallom, McCletchy, McCrary, McFarland, 
McGuire, McHargue, McKee, McKeown, McKinney, McKnight, 
McLean, McLelland, McNeely, McWhorter, Miller, Milligan, 
Montgomery, Morrison, Morton, Murdock, Newberry, Nichols, 
Nisbet, Olyphant, Ormond, Porter, Potts, Purviance, Reed, Rodman, 
Rogers, Rosebro, Rowby, Rutledge, Sharpe, Shay, Simonton, Sloan, 
Smith, Snoddy, Steele, Stevenson, Stimson, Stewart, Taze, Thomas, 
Thompson, Thornton, Tracey, Trotter, Waddell, Wasson, Watt, Waugh, 
Whaley, White, Wilson, Witherspoon, Woodfork, Woods, Young. 

On the map, there are 196 places marked with the names of their 
owners with 113 different family names. When Reverend Neill R. 
McGeachy was pastor of Statesville First Presbyterian Church (1945- 
1969), he did extensive research on the history of the church as he was 
writing "Confronted By Challenge: A History of the Presbytery of 
Concord". From his research, he corrected the spelling of some of the 
names as they appear on the transcript of the Sharpe map, now in pos- 
session of the Church, and noted the names Cowan, Davidson, and 
Patterson as having been omitted in earlier listings. Dr. Rockwell 
noted that just north of the area covered by the map, a colony from 
Maryland "came soon after the time of this map, having a different set 
of names; such as Gaither, Lazenby, Ellis, Shaw, Summers, Tomlinson, 
etc." 12 To the south of Fourth Creek was the Centre Congregation. In 

Fourth Creek Church Organized 63 

it were other names which became familiar to this church in the years 
that followed: Brevard, Connor, Givens, McPherson, Ramsey, and 

The Sharpe map is now mounted in the James Iredell Room of the 
Iredell County Library. For years, it was in the possession of Miss Mat- 
tie Hall, and after her death, was made available by her heirs for dis- 
play in the library as one of the most valuable single documents from 
the early days of Iredell. The ink has faded and many of the names 
in cursive are difficult to read. The present writer remembers that 
when he was a child the original, or perhaps one of the copies made 
by Dr. Rockwell in 1847, hung in the Session room of the Statesville 
church. Transcriptions of the map have been made with the lettering 
in printing rather than cursive. One of these is mounted in the Her- 
itage Room of the church. Another has been reproduced in publica- 
tions by the church and in Keever's "Iredell - Piedmont County". I 
have not been able to learn when these transcriptions were made, but 
even with the spelling of some names disagreeing with the original, 
these are much easier to use. 

The map shows us the rapid growth of this frontier area, particu- 
larly after the French and Indian War. In "Carolina Cradle" Ramsey 
states that the population of the Fourth Creek settlement in 1762 was 
at least sixty-two families. By the time of Sharpe's map, ten years 
later, over one hundred and ten had established homes in the same 

Orange Presbytery apparently did not approve the request made 
in the 1773 Remonstrance, but the desire of the people in the north- 
ern part of Fourth Creek Community continued. Of the group of set- 
tlers from Maryland who had moved in just north of the area includ- 
ed in the map, Dr. Rockwell says: "There was for a long time a strong 
apathy between these people and the Scotch-Irish." The map shows 
the north-west quarter as having the largest number of settlers. The 
desire for a division did result in the establishment of two new con- 
gregations about 1775, Concord Church on the west and Bethany on 
the north. It was these three churches that were to secure the first res- 
ident minister they were to have, twenty-five years after their gath- 
ering as a congregation and fourteen years after Fourth Creek 
Church was organized by the Synod of New York's missionary, Elihu 



Footnotes to Chapter VII 

1. Klett's Minutes . . . op. cit, p. 400 

2. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, Vol III Presbyterian, (1658: New York) p. 400 

3. Ramsey, op. cit., p. 95 

4. Klett's Minutes . . . op. cit. p. 400 

5. Ibid, p. 407 

6. Manuscript Minutes of Hanover Presbytery, May 3, 1765. 

7. Klett's Minutes ... op. cit. p. 478 

8. Ibid, p. 504 

9. Ibid, p. 478 

10. Rockwell's History, op. cit. p. 44 

11. Ibid. 

12. Rockwell: An Ancient Map of the Central Part of Iredell Co., N.C. mimeographed copy — not 
published p. 5 

First brick church, as described by a member. Built in 1863. Tower 
never completed. Located opposite side of Meeting Street from pre- 
sent site. Faced south. 

Chapter Eight 

First Pastor James Hall 

After years of having to rely upon the occasional visits by mis- 
sionaries sent by presbyteries or synods and being disappoint- 
ed in their attempts to secure a resident minister of their own, 
the congregation called the Rev. James Hall in 1778. He accepted the 
congregation's call and was installed as their first pastor. They had 
treasured the times when they had been blessed under the ministry 
of Thompson, McMordie, Spencer, McCreary, and the others, but as 
meaningful as these times of refreshment had been to them, they had 
not ceased to hope for the coming of one who would settle among 
them. At last, the time had come for fulfillment of the desire expressed 
in the 1765 letter from Hanover Presbytery: "... we hope that the great 
Shepherd of the flock will command, in his own good time, some to 
feed his sheep and lambs among you, and to gather others to his fold." 1 
When they did get their own pastor, he was one of their own, raised 
in this community and returned to make Iredell County his place of 
ministry. Thus he knew this people and country, was readily accept- 
able to them, and able to turn aside the repeated calls from other com- 
munities. Scholar, preacher, soldier, evangelist, counsellor, educator, 
and committed churchman, James Hall was one of the outstanding 
ministers of his generation. His example set forth for others who were 
to come an ideal for what ministry could be. 

James Hall was the son of James Hall, Sr. and Prudence Roddy Hall. 
The father was a native of Ireland who had come to America about 
1720 with his widowed mother. She died at sea, and he landed in 
Pennsylvania an orphan in an unknown land. He first found work in 
Philadelphia and then moved westward to the Carlisle area. It was 
here that he met and married Prudence Roddy. I did not find the date 
of their marriage, but they started their family while living in Penn- 
sylvania. In a paper written in 1787, James speaks of two older and 
two younger brothers. He had been born August 22, 1744 and was just 
a boy when James, Sr. and Prudence journeyed down the Wagon Road 


and moved their family to western Rowan County. They established 
a home north of Fergus Sloan's land, not far from Bethany Church. 

James, Sr. with his Irish Presbyterian background had been one of 
those who assisted in the establishment of the Conewago Church in 
Pennsylvania, and when he moved south, brought a certificate from 
that congregation. When "Miss Minnie" Eliason wrote a sketch of 
Fourth Creek Meeting House in the 1930s, she quoted an old certifi- 
cate which she said was still in the possession of the Hall family: 

"That James Hall and his wife Prudence Hall hath lived in this congre- 
gation ever since it was erected and have behaved themselves Chris- 
tianly and soberly without any publicke scandal known to us and have 
been partakers of sealing ordinances amongst us and may be received 
into any Christian society wherever God in his providence shall order 
their lott is certified this 20th day of August 1751 by the Session of 

(signed) Thomas Bowman Robert Mordah 

James Mordah Hugh Hall 

John McQueen" 2 

We know very little of the early life of James Hall, but may assume 
that with his brothers he gave his interest and labors to helping the 
family establish their home on the Carolina frontier. He was just eight 
when they moved down the wagon road from Pennsylvania, but even 
at that age he would have had his daily chores, perhaps carrying in 
wood for the fire, weeding the garden, feeding the cow and chickens 
and, in season, gathering nuts and berries. Of course as he grew older 
his ability and thus his responsibilities expanded. James was blessed 
in being raised by pious parents who were his first teachers. Undoubt- 
edly, the first book he knew was the Bible and from it and the West- 
minster catechism he learned to read. The truths he absorbed from his 
early learning were to remain the dominant force in his whole life. 

Writing about it years later, James reported that he "had been a sub- 
ject of religious impressions from term to term commencing in his 
eighth year." 3 As a child and youth, the only contact he had with the 
organized church was through the occasional visits of the missionar- 
ies who came into the Fourth Creek Community at the instruction of 
the Synod or Presbyteries to the north. The strong faith of his parents 
and the fellowship which gathered at the preaching stands in that 
community filled the gap for him. From early days he was diligent in 
seeking to be faithful to the God of his fathers. He became familiar 
with the Bible as his primary source of learning, but certainly read and 

First Pastor James Hall 67 

studied any books that one of the Halls' neighbors happened to have 
and would lend to him. As he matured, he had more and more 
responsibility for doing the work of the family farm, particularly after 
his older brothers were married, but his love of learning never slack- 
ened. He had been accustomed to studying by himself and acquired 
habits of self-application that were to follow him through life. When 
he was about seventeen, a treatise on geometry fell into his hands. He 
was fascinated by it and in all his leisure time from the responsibilities 
of the farm, applied himself to the subject until he mastered the prin- 
cipals of the subject. Using the plates in the volume as guidance, he 
constructed a quadrant with which he amused himself and friends 
in measuring the height of trees, and the distance to objects. Math- 
ematics became his favorite study, and he considered this subject to be 
an essential part of an education in later years when he became a 
teacher himself. 

Hall was twenty years old before he made a profession of faith and 
became a member of the church. It is probable that this occurred dur- 
ing the visits by Spencer and McWhorter when they established 
Fourth Creek as an organized congregation on their 1764 mission to 
the area between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. If so, James Hall 
may be counted as a Charter Member of Fourth Creek Church along 
with his parents who moved their membership from Pennsylvania. 
Writing of his spiritual pilgrimage Hall said: 

"Not long after my first comforts, I felt a strong desire towards the min- 
istry of the Gospel. Of this I considered it in vain to think, when I took 
a view of my family circumstances. My father, at that time aged, and in 
a declining state of health, my two elder brothers married, and my two 
younger brothers were in a measure children — so that as a means, I 
was almost the only support of the family, which was in comfortable, 
but not in affluent circumstances. It was, however, my constant prayer 
to God, that he might, in some way open a door in the course of his 
providence, that so I might obtain my wished-for objective, even when 
I saw no prospect of an answer." 4 

It was four years before James told his parents of his desire to 
become a minister. When he did tell them, he found that, contrary to 
his expectations, they were quite willing to support him in following 
this course of study. It was about this time that he made a solemn per- 
sonal commitment to God that he would devote his whole life to 
preaching the gospel if God made it possible for him to receive the 
proper educational preparation. 


Before he entered on the course to receive a classical education, he 
had an experience which played a major part in the way his whole life 
developed. In attendance at the marriage of a friend, he had the 
opportunity of associating with one who Foote describes as "an ami- 
able, pious lady, in all the loveliness of youth, rendered more lovely 
by the excitement of the occasion." 5 He was intrigued by the young 
lady, Mary Sloan, and after he got home his waking hours were filled 
with thoughts of his new love. He visited her and expressing his sen- 
timents, asked if he could hope that they might be joined in marriage. 
She responded favorably to his expression and accepted his proposal. 
At home he found that, "he thought of nothing but the object of his 
affections. He saw in her piety and amiableness, every quality to make 
him happy, and he revelled in his anticipated felicity." 6 

In the following days, however, as he thought of what union with 
Mary would mean for the years ahead, doubts arose. There was no 
question about his attraction to this young lady and his desire to share 
his life with her, but when he remembered his earlier commitment to 
give his "whole life" to preaching the Gospel, he had second thoughts. 
He had made a self-imposed covenant with God that if the way were 
opened for him, the sole ambition of his life would be to minister in 
his Lord's name. Now he had rashly entered an agreement which 
might turn him from his declared commitment. After days of inner 
struggle he went to see the object of his affection and told her of his 
dilemma. By mutual agreement the matrimonial engagement was dis- 
solved and James returned to his earlier commitment to prepare him- 
self for preaching the gospel. This was the only time that he made any 
movement toward the married life. Some writers have made the error 
of speaking of some of the large number of Hall family members who 
entered the ministry as being descendants of the Reverend James Hall. 
They were his kin, descendants of his father, James Hall, Sr., but he 
remained faithful to his early commitment and was able to undertake 
a widespread ministry as a single man that might have been different, 
if not less valuable, had he become the head of a family. 

His years of intense personal study had laid a good foundation and 
at the age of twenty-six he entered Crowfield Academy in the Centre 
Church community to start his classical education. Two years later 
he transferred to Nassau Hall in New Jersey, the college under the 
sponsorship of the American Presbyterian Church and forerunner of 
Princeton University. In 1774, he graduated from Nassau Hall, having 
reached the requirements for graduation after only two years in the 

First Pastor James Hall 69 

school. Dr. John Witherspoon, President of the College, was attracted 
to Hall, particularly for his ability in mathematics and invited him to 
join the faculty of Nassau Hall as an instructor in math. Hall recog- 
nized the honor of this offer from his respected mentor, but remem- 
bering his early dedication to God for the ministry, and probably also 
aware of being older than most men were when they entered the min- 
istry and of the great need for ministers in North Carolina, he declined 
to become associated with the college as a teacher. Instead, he entered 
on the reading of theology under Dr. Witherspoon who was noted 
both as a teacher and a patriot. John Witherspoon was to be one of the 
representatives of New Jersey to the Continental Congress, the only 
clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Hall's high sense 
of morality had come from his Christian home in the Carolina back 
country, but his views in religion and patriotism were largely shaped 
by his honored teacher. 

The shortage of ministers influenced Hall to concentrate his theo- 
logical study into less than two years. Sometime between the meeting 
of the Synod in 1775, and the meeting in 1776, he went to a meeting of 
Orange Presbytery where he was examined and licensed to preach the 
gospel. The records of the Presbytery for that meeting would have 
been in the Minute Book, which was destroyed in the 1827 fire referred 
to above, so we are not able to give the exact date. However, the Min- 
utes of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia for May 28, 1776 
include this report: 

"A Letter from the Presbytery of Orange was brought in and read 
informing that they have since last Synod licensed Messrs. Robert 
Archibald, Thomas Harris MacCalla and James Hall to preach the 
Gospel and request the Synod to send as many Supplies as they can to 
the Relief of the numerous Vacancies in those parts." 7 

At the time, there were only eight Presbyterian ministers serving in 
North Carolina. They, plus six in South Carolina, composed the total 
of Orange Presbytery which covered both colonies. The number of 
congregations needing a Presbyterian minister was more than five 
times the total of available men. It is not surprising, therefore, that 
James Hall received a number of invitations to become pastor from 
congregations all across the area. The one he accepted was that from 
the neighborhood in which he had grown up. The Fourth Creek, 
Bethany, and Concord churches persuaded him to come back to west- 
ern Rowan County and become their first resident pastor. 

It was about this time that Hall went with a command of militia, 


under General Rutherford, on an expedition into the mountains to 
face the Cherokees and try to keep them from joining the British 
against the colonists. Near Mt. Pisgah in the Great Smokies, Neill 
McGeachy, while he was pastor of the Statesville Church, found a 
publication referring to the Park which tells of Rutherford's 1776 expe- 
dition. It says: "A Parson from Princeton, a gun-totin', Bible-quotin' 
preacher named James Hall came with Rutherford and they fell on the 
Cherokee villages with devastating fury." 8 It has been stated also that 
Mt. Pisgah received its name on this trip, Hall suggesting the name 
from the biblical mount on which Moses looked over the Promised 
Land before he died. (Deuteronomy 34:1-5) 

On April 8, 1778, Hall was installed as pastor of the united congre- 
gations of Fourth Creek, Concord, and Bethany. There is no remaining 
record of his ordination, but it is assumed that it occurred at the same 
time as his installation. He was to serve as pastor of the three church- 
es until 1790, after which he was relieved of his responsibility for 
Fourth Creek and Concord, while continuing as pastor of Bethany 
alone for another twenty-six years. 

Committed to the Gospel and prepared for this service through 
both home and education, his service extended far beyond that of a 
preaching ministry. From his teacher, Dr. Witherspoon, he had gained 
a high level of patriotism. The earlier expedition into the mountains 
after the Cherokees was but a forerunner of his service as a soldier in 
the American Revolution. When the war moved south Georgia fell to 
the British and South Carolina was open to invasion by the Redcoats 
under Cornwallis. Hall heard reports of the plundering, conflicts, and 
the distress inflicted upon the inhabitants of the upper part of the 
neighboring state. These were folk to whom he felt a strong affinity. 
They were of the same cultural stock, the same religious persuasion, 
and the same belief in civil and religious liberty as himself. A Sab- 
bath came when he felt called upon to do more in reaching out to his 
countrymen in the neighboring state. He spoke to his people remind- 
ing them of the wrongs inflicted on their country, and the suffering 
of their brothers and sisters, invaded by the Redcoats. He called upon 
the people of Fourth Creek, Bethany, and Concord to take up arms in 
the defense of those things they held most dear. 

Response was immediate and a company of cavalry was organized 
largely composed of men from the three churches. They demanded 
that he should be their leader. He hesitated but they insisted, remind- 
ing him of the call he had issued to encourage his countrymen to act 

First Pastor James Hall 71 

rather than just talk. Hall accepted and led them on an expedition last- 
ing several months during which he was both Captain and Chaplain. 
The company moved south to support the militia and small number 
of Continental troops, facing the combined force of British regulars 
and Tories which had defeated the rebels at Camden and were threat- 
ening to move on into North Carolina. 

It was the Chaplain/Captains's practice to call the company to reg- 
ular times of prayer. While on this expedition, two of the company 
were taken prisoners. Knowing that they did not have the strength 
to secure their release by force of arms, the company made their con- 
dition a subject of prayer. Several days later, as Hall knelt before God, 
the two walked out of the woods, having escaped from their captors. 

They reported that one evening as they had been held in a room 
near the Broad River, they noted that the trooper set to guard them 
was drowsy. They waited quietly until he was asleep, carefully 
stepped over him and made a run for the river. The splash of their 
dive into the water roused the other sentinels and an alarm was given. 
As quickly as possible, they put out boats in pursuit, but the young 
men reached the opposite bank first and melted into the woods. Then 
cautiously they made their way back to their friends. One of the two 
was a young man of 17. When some of his companions told him they 
had been praying for them, his response was: "I wouldn't have given 
a Continental for my chances; from now on I am a Christian." 9 

After the original ruling elders installed at the time Fourth Creek was 
organized as a church, two other men were selected to become mem- 
bers of the Session: John McClelland and Mussendine Matthews. We do 
not have a date for their ordination but it probably occurred after James 
Hall had become Pastor of Fourth Creek. The early custom, before 1780, 
was for elders to be selected by the pastor and then confirmed by the 
Session. It is likely that Hall either selected or had influence in the choice 
of these two men as additional elders. Both men lived beyond their sev- 
entieth year and are buried in the Fourth Creek Cemetery. 

Mussendine Matthews was a lieutenant in the cavalry company, and 
I assume that McClelland, at age twenty-five, was also a participant. 
One day Captain Hall and Lieutenant Matthews were making a recon- 
naissance. They came out of the woods into an open field near a house 
where they saw fifteen or twenty British dragoons. Their danger was 
obvious. Outnumbered ten to one, in open view from the house, and 
facing troops some of whom were already mounted, it seemed escape 
was impossible. They paused and Matthews drew his sword and turn- 


ing to the woods waved it as if summoning a company to advance. The 
British assumed they were about to be attacked, took alarm and retreat- 
ed as quickly as possible. The two officers watched them depart and 
then turned back to the place where the company waited. 

After a time, the British withdrew to Charleston leaving the upper 
country in control of their Tory supporters. The militia company led 
by James Hall returned to their homes as was the usual procedure at 
the time of the Revolution. In contrast to the Continental Army who 
were fulltime soldiers, the militia units were called up from time to 
time to meet specific danger and were then released until needed to 
face another threat. The next call Hall responded to came when troops 
had to march into Cherokee country in Georgia to control the threat of 
the Indians. A company was raised in western Rowan and Hall went 
along with his friends as chaplain. He led prayers each morning and 
evening and we have reports of one time he preached to the troops. 
On a Sabbath, he took a place under a large tree. The army gathered 
on the ground around him to listen to the sermon. Dr. Foote says that 
this was the first Christian sermon preached in the Indian territory, 
and in honor of it, the county which was to develop there was named 
Hall County. 10 Others have questioned this as the origin of the name, 
saying that the county was named for Lyman Hall, one of Georgia's 
signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

In 1781, Cornwallis entered North Carolina again. After Tarlton's 
defeat at Cowpens, Cornwallis brought up the rest of his army in pur- 
suit of General Greene. Greene called for support from the militia of 
the region who were assigned to watch the fords where the Catawba 
river could be crossed. Tradition says that Hall was in his pulpit when 
the news of Cornwallis' movement arrived. He completed the service 
in a shortened form and called for his neighbors to join him as they 
moved toward the Catawba. The British made their major crossing 
at Cowan's Ford and a skirmish ensued. In the attempt to halt their 
advance, General William Lee Davidson was killed. It is reported that 
Hall's company was approaching the ford when the British made their 
crossing, but they were not engaged in the fighting. 

After the death of William Lee Davidson, General Greene offered 
Hall a commission as Brigadier General to replace the fallen officer. 
Although he was honored by this recognition, he declined, but not 
from any want of patriotic fervor. He believed there were others who 
could handle this responsibility as well as he could, but only a limit- 
ed number who were able to fill his place in proclamation of the 

First Pastor James Hall 73 

gospel. Even to receive honor, he would not forget the cause to which 
he had dedicated his "whole life". 

In the 1760s the Fourth Creek congregation's building was spoken 
of as the "old church". Its condition may have played some part in the 
1772-73 movement to divide the congregation and erect two new 
buildings. On the occasion of the installation of James Hall as Pastor 
of Fourth Creek it is spoken of as being "very dilapidated". It was dur- 
ing the war years that the people moved to erect a more adequate 
meeting house. The second building of the congregation was made of 
wood, as the first one had been. Larger than the one it replaced, it was 
sixty by forty feet in dimensions. When Dr. Rockwell was pastor in the 
1840s the congregation was still worshipping here so his description 
may be relied upon. He told of the massive timbers which formed the 
framework. A newspaper clipping from the Independent Journal from 
Potosi, Missouri, reporting on the early settlement of that community, 
speaks of the Sloan family whose ancestors had migrated from North 
Carolina. Their family tradition reported: 

"... back in Iredell County, N. C. on a creek called Fourth there lived 
two Scotch-Irish neighbors: Fergus Sloan and William Stevenson. Fer- 
gus Sloan gave the ground and helped hew the logs for Fourth Creek 
Meeting House . . . William Stevenson helped hew those logs and served 
on the first board of Elders of the Church." 11 

June Stevenson, a daughter of William, married William Sloan, a son 
of Fergus, and they were the ones who began the Sloan family in Mis- 
souri. The reference to the two men "helping" hew the logs indicates 
that the members of the church joined in erecting the 1780 building, 
even though their country was at war and they were called from the 
work to take part in military operations. A manuscript by Dr. Rock- 
well which is in the Historical Foundation at Montreat gives us more 
about the second building. He reports the result of some of his inves- 
tigation as follows: 

"... the old church here built in 1779 was a frame building. It is said 
that Dr. Hall had a Negro man who was a good carpenter. There was 
not a sufficiency of large timbers without going some distance. William 
McReary proposed to go into the river bottom and hew out the timbers 
for the frame — even to the scanting. We do not learn that at that time 
there was any saw mill near. Its dimensions were 50 by 40 feet [sic] on 
the ground; with a galliery [sic] on three sides ... It is said that the man 
who took the contract for the building got simply a skillet for his pay 
by the depreciation of the currency." 12 


The congregation began to meet in their new place of worship in 
1780 and it was used for over thirty years before it was ceiled and the 
inside was finished. Dr. Rockwell reports that the finishing was done 
in 1812 largely under the influence of James Irvin and Robert Simon- 
ton. He says, "About this time nails were hauled from Baltimore, at a 
cost for freight of ten cents per pound, and sold for fifty cents. Some 
of them used in this house were first cut and then the heads forged 
afterwards." 13 

Describing the building as it was finished and as he knew it during 
the early years of his pastorate, he reports: "The pulpit was placed in 
the side opposite the front door, and the seats arranged accordingly. 
Over the pulpit, which was small and nearly round, was, as usual in 
our old Churches, a sounding board." 14 The building was remodeled 
again in 1846 during Dr. Rockwell's ministry. Reference to that work 
will be made below. 

When the Revolutionary War came to an end, following the surrender 
of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Hall's attention returned full time to his 
responsibilities as a gospel minister. Though the area of his congrega- 
tions was not in the paths taken by the armies of either side, and suffered 
no physical damage, the results of what happened in other places made 
themselves felt here. It was generally true that the war years resulted in 
a decline in religious concern and individual morality throughout Amer- 
ica. During the war some churches had been unable to maintain the level 
of congregational gathering for worship they had known. Some groups 
apparently became inactive or disappeared from the rolls completely. 
A number of congregations went for years before they were reorganized, 
sometimes under new names. As seems to have been the case after every 
war, vices which grew in army camps: gambling, drinking, profanity 
and infidelity, were brought home from the war and became even more 
widespread in the aftermath of the struggle. 

The influence of James Hall kept the general spread of these vices 
from having the impact on this community that they did in other 
places. Between periods of military service, he conscientiously pro- 
moted the cause to which he had dedicated his life in the three con- 
gregations of his charge. We have already noted that under his lead- 
ership Fourth Creek Church erected their second building during the 
war years. The part he played in promoting education as a part of his 
ministry will be noted below. His primary emphasis, however, was 
the spread of the gospel through preaching and witnessing, and his 
efforts were greatly blessed. 

First Pastor James Hall 75 

Only a few years after the close of the war, a revival broke forth in 
the bounds of the three congregations. The attention of the people was 
drawn to religious concerns. Dr. Foote described the meeting as "char- 
acterized by great solemnity and stillness; and the preaching, for sim- 
plicity, earnestness and tenderness, in setting forth the great truths of 
the gospel." 15 It was the custom at that time to have a series of meet- 
ings, climaxed with an observance of the Lord's Supper. On the day 
before the sacrament was to be observed the Session met to hear pro- 
fessions of faith and approve persons to come to the Lord's Table. At 
two sacramental occasions in succession, the results of the revival 
were shown with about eighty persons being received on profession 
at the first and about sixty more at a succeeding sacramental occasion. 

In the Heritage Room of the Statesville Presbyterian Church there 
is on display a frame holding two small pieces of lead inscribed "T". 
They are "Communion Tokens" as used in the eighteenth and nine- 
teenth century Presbyterian churches, following a custom brought 
over from Scotland. On the days before a Communion Sunday, the 
Session would examine members of the church and give tokens to 
those it deemed worthy to receive the sacrament. When a person met 
with the Session to make a profession of faith and be received as a 
member of the church, a token was given to be turned in when the 
new member came to the table for his first communion. Dr. Ernest T. 
Thompson, in his masterful history of the denomination, Presbyterians 
in the South, described the use of tokens: 

"On Sunday before communion the resident minister would preach 
what was called the action sermon. This was followed by the 'fencing 
of the table/ in which the unprepared, the impenitent, and the faithless 
were warned against participation in the sacrament. Its object was to 
aid the people in self-examination; and was undoubtedly effective in 
upholding high standards of life and conduct. 

"In response to the minister's invitation celebrants arose from their 
seats, came forward, and took their seats about the communion tables 
stretched across the front of the church. Elders took up the communion 
tokens; the bread and wine were passed down the table, while the min- 
ister directed their thoughts to the meaning of the observance. When 
the first table or tables had been served, others came to take their 
seats." 16 

In the days when the people still gathered at preaching stands, the 
bread and the common cup were served to the people from the hands 
of the minister, who took them from the shelf which he used to hold 


his Bible and hymnbook and passed them directly to the communi- 
cants. After they had buildings, the churches provided long narrow 
tables and backless benches which were set up in the area in front of 
the pulpit or up the aisle to be used in serving the sacrament. They 
were taken down and stored until the next communion season. An 
example of these old communion tables and benches can be seen in 
the Historical Foundation, Presbyterian Department of History, in 
Montreat, N. C. The table is nine feet long and about fifteen inches 
wide. These came from the Salem Black River Church in South Car- 
olina and help us to visualize how our ancestors took communion. 
In an old plan dated 1796, showing the arrangement of the interior 
of the new building erected by Falling Spring Church in the valley of 
Virginia, the area in front of the pulpit is labeled "Communion Alley". 
The people came from their pews and took seats on either side of the 
small tables and then passed the elements hand to hand after receiv- 
ing them from the Elders. Also on display at the Historical Foundation 
is the old high pulpit from Bethany Church used by James Hall while 
he was Pastor in Iredell County. The pulpit in Fourth Creek's 1780 
building was probably quite similar. Communion Tokens were used 
in this congregation until 1847, and the sacrament was served at tables 
set up in the aisles until the Civil War. 

Footnotes to Chapter VIII 

1. Manuscript Minutes of Hanover Presbytery, op. cit., May 3, 1765 

2. Minnie Hampton Eliason, Fourth Creek Meeting-House, mimeographed copy of paper written 

c. 1931-34, p. 2. 

3. W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 230. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. p. 321. 

7. Klett's Minutes, op. cit. p. 554. 

8. Neill R. McGeachy, note from his files. 

9. W. H. Foote, op. cit. p. 326. 

10. Ibid 

11. clipping from Independent Journal, Potosa, MO., Feb. 25, 1943. 

12. E. F Rockwell, History of Fourth Creek ... ,op. cit. pp. 49-50 

13. Ibid 

14. E. F Rockwell, unpublished notes at Historical Foundation. 

15. E. T. Thompson, op. cit. p. 227. 

Chapter Nine 

James Hall and Education 

Loved and respected as a minister, recognized for his mental 
ability, noted for his patriotism and as a military leader, James 
Hall was undoubtedly one of the outstanding persons ever to 
live in the bounds of Iredell County. His contributions were not lim- 
ited to the matters already mentioned. Perhaps his most significant 
impact was made in the field of education. When as a young man 
he started to prepare himself with a classical education, there were 
no schools offering this training in the vicinity. Though conscien- 
tious in self -education, at age twenty-six he had to go down to the 
Centre Church community to enroll in Crowfield Academy to 
receive training in Latin, Greek and the natural sciences to prepare 
himself for entrance in Nassau Hall. One of his first actions after he 
returned to North Carolina to become pastor of the three churches 
in the Fourth Creek community was to organize a classical school 
He had graduated at Nassau Hall in 1774, studied theology until 
Orange Presbytery licensed him to preach in 1776, and began his 
work here before being formally installed and ordained in April 
1778. The first school he founded, Clio's Nursery of Arts and Sci- 
ences, was established very shortly after he moved back here. Tra- 
dition says it was in October 1778. 

Clio's Nursery was opened in a log building in the Snow Creek 
community about ten miles north of the settlement developing near 
the Fourth Creek Church and Cemetery. It was some miles from the 
Bethany community where his home was, but the site was picked 
because there were more children living near Snow Creek than in 
the Bethany community. This is the vicinity where prominent fam- 
ilies lived: the Adamses, the Kings, and the Sharpes. The little acad- 
emy was located off Highway 115 at county road 1905 between the 
South Yadkin River and Snow Creek. North Carolina Historical 
Marker M-23 mounted there says: 


A school established about 1778 by the Rev. James Hall. Trained many 
prominent men. Closed about 1787. Was a few hundred yards]." 1 

Of course there were others involved in the establishment and oper- 
ation of Clio's Nursery, but it is generally agreed that James Hall was 
the primary influence in getting the school started. He served as its 
superintendent and undoubtedly did some of the teaching from time 
to time, but the first teacher is reported to have been James McEwen, 
brother-in-law of Dr. Hall. In a paper he wrote on "The Second Clas- 
sical School in Iredell County", Dr. E. F. Rockwell reported six others 
who taught at Clio's Academy during its years of service were Rev. 
Francis Cummings (1779), Samuel Harris, John Newton and his assis- 
tant James W. Stevenson (1782), Samuel W. Young (1785), and finally 
Dr. Charles Caldwell (1787). Caldwell was still living when Rockwell 
wrote (1849), and was probably a source of his information about Hall 
and the school. The dates given for the teachers are those given in his 
History of Fourth Creek Church. 

Clio Nursery's first building was destroyed by fire. In his book 
Iredell-Piedmont County, Homer Keever reports the destruction of the 
school house: 

"... some of the boys took umbrage at James King and James Adams, 
who took their axes and tore up a bowling alley the boys had built. 
Those Presbyterian elders thought the boys were spending too much 
time playing and not enough with their Latin. A Walker boy was tried 
in Superior Court at Salisbury and received a verdict of 'not proven 
guilty.' One tradition says it was not local boys at all but some who had 
come up from South Carolina." 2 

It is interesting to contrast the attitude towards the boys' playing 
and the place athletics play in twentieth century educational institu- 
tions and, if it were the group from South Carolina, the similarity 
between setting a fire in the school house of Clio's Nursery and the 
pranks played by some students against the school of their rivals in 
our day. A new school house was built on top of the hill a short dis- 
tance away and the school continued until 1787 when Dr. Caldwell left 
as he said in a letter to Dr. Rockwell: "... I withdrew from it, by invi- 
tation to aid in the establishment of a similar Institution in Centre 
Congregation near the residence of Col. Osborne." 3 

For some students, their time at Clio's Nursery was a preparation 
for further study at Nassau Hall, the college of the Presbyterian 

James Hall and Education 79 

Church founded in 1746, or Hampden-Sydney College, established in 
1776. For others, unable to afford to go to one of the colleges, and yet 
wishing to receive a proper education, Clio's Nursery filled their 
needs. It was recognized in its day as being one of the finest schools in 
the South, the first one to have a scientific department. A number of 
men who were to become eminent in the development of this country 
during the nineteenth century received the start of their formal edu- 
cation in the little academy. Among them were Rev. Richard King of 
Tennessee whom Foote identifies as "the man of the finest powers of 
mind ever trained in Western Carolina". 4 Judge Lowrie of Georgia, 
Governor Israel Pickens of Alabama, and Moses Waddell who estab- 
lished Willington Academy near Vienna, S. C, and was then President 
of Franklin College which became the University of Georgia. In Dr. 
Foote's "Sketches of North Carolina" he lists twenty ministers who 
studied under James Hall in Clio's Nursery, at the Ebenezer Academy 
he founded at Bethany, and at his home. 

Hall was concerned with general education of the people of his 
churches as well as that of the young men who attended the academy. 
He led in the establishment of a circulating library, owned by a joint 
stock company. Each "stockholder" was entitled to borrow books reg- 
ularly. There were no books in a central deposit except every three 
months, on the first Tuesday of February, May, August, and Novem- 
ber when all the books were brought in for redistribution. At each 
meeting, they appointed a chairman and committee of inspection. The 
books were examined and if any one failed to return any books in his 
possession or they were damaged, he was fined according to the 
amount of damage. Then the books were placed in piles on a table 
with each person standing by the books he had returned that day. 
They all moved around the table one space and took the books in the 
new pile before them for a three months loan. In the course of time, 
each person would have had the loan of every lot of books. Dr. Rock- 
well says that the distribution of books was done at John Nisbet's 
store, which was the largest center of business in the county in the 
years before the court house was located and Statesville established. 
When the first set of books had been borrowed by all, they were sold 
and a new collection was secured. The circulating library continued 
until about 1828. 5 

During the time when James Hall was pastor of the Fourth Creek 
Church, other events occurred which had major impact upon the 
development of the church. Ever since the congregation had erected 


their first building beside the cemetery which Fergus Sloan had deed- 
ed to them in January 1758, they had been squatters insofar as their 
meeting house was concerned. The second building likewise had been 
built on land which belonged to Sloan. It may be that in his thinking 
a cemetery was permanent. But the way in which Fourth Creek Con- 
gregation had moved their place of worship time and again in earlier 
days, there was no assurance that this location would be lasting. In 
any case, it was after they had their own minister, and after almost 
thirty years of worship at the same site, that Fergus Sloan deeded the 
church site to them. 

In the Rowan County Court House is found a deed dated Novem- 
ber 13, 1786 between Fergus Sloan and trustees for the church, William 
Stevenson and Andrew McKinsey, which for a payment of ten pounds 
transferred a parcel of "two acres and twenty-eight poles ... for the 
sole use and benefit of the presbyterian society commonly called 
Fourth Creek congregation ... " 6 This property has continued to be the 
location of the Presbyterian congregation for each of its buildings on 
to the present day. 

The continued growth of population in the western piedmont and 
the old arguments about having to travel so far to care for business 
at the court house led to the movement to divide Rowan County. In 
his study of Iredell County, Homer Keever gives an excellent summa- 
ry of the political skirmishes that occurred involving North Carolina's 
adoption of the Federal Constitution, location for the capital of the 
state, and the desires of the people in the west for new counties. It is 
enough for the purpose of this study to note that in the 1788 Assem- 
bly an agreement was reached which resulted in Wake County being 
chosen for the capital and Rowan county being divided to establish 
Iredell County. It was a year and a half later, November 1789, before 
North Carolina ratified the Constitution of the United States of Amer- 
ica, the twelfth state to do so. When the new county was approved, 
one of the members of the House of Commons representing Rowan 
was David Caldwell of Fourth Creek. 

The bill creating the county named commissioners who lived in its 
bounds to decide on a location for the county seat. In a subsequent bill 
the Assembly set the location on fifty acres of land next to Fourth 
Creek Church purchased from Fergus Sloan. The deed for their prop- 
erty, signed by Fergus Sloan on March 25, 1790 records the sale of 
sixty-eight and a half acres from Sloan to 

"... John Nesbit, George Davidson, Jerimiah Nelson, Joseph Sharpe, 

James Hall and Education 81 

and Charles Houston ... Commissioners appointed by an act of the 
assembly bearing date November 1789 for laying out a town in said 
county by the name of States ville ... " 6 

The land had been a part of the Granville Grant which had been 
secured by John Oliphant in 1753. Oliphant sold it to Fergus Sloan in 
1755, and he had made the deeds to Fourth Creek Congregation in 
1758 and 1786. The price paid for the site of Statesville was "thirty 
pounds lawful money". It was 1792 before the United States adopted 
the dollar as its monetary standard. 

Description of the town property covered in this deed marks the 
starting point for its survey as: "Beginning at a Black oak Saplen (SIC) 
on the North East corner of Fourth Creek grave yard ... "In time the 
black oak passed from the scene and was replaced by a tall slab of 
black granite in the corner of the old cemetery wall. The stone, an orig- 
inal corner marker for the town of Statesville, was built into the cor- 
ner post of the cemetery wall when it was set in concrete in the 1930s. 

The first sessions of the new county court were held at homes in the 
neighborhood, at William Duffie's in March 1789, and then at William 
Simonton's until a court house could be built. Both Duffie and Simon- 
ton were in the Fourth Creek Church. By the time of the June session 
of 1790, a log courthouse had been built on a rise to the southeast of 
the Fourth Creek Meeting House, near the center of the property 
which had been purchased from Fergus Sloan. Over the years, visitors 
to Statesville have commented on the width of Broad and Center 
streets where they cross to form "the Square". Explanation is found in 
the way the town was first laid out. The court house was in the mid- 
dle of the intersection where the two main streets met. The first streets 
were laid out allowing ample room to ride by all four sides of the 
court house and the width was continued in all four directions. 

On August 13, 1790 a sale of lots was held. Thirty-six lots were laid 
out covering the area between Meeting and Tradd Streets and from the 
north side of Broad Street to Front Street, all a part of the present 
"down town" section. Twenty-six parcels were bought in that first 
sale. James Hall paid six pounds six shillings for lot #19, which was 
located on the west side of South Center, the second lot from the cor- 
ner. We do not have any record of there being any construction on 
Hall's lot before he sold it in 1797 to Abner Sharpe, the first Clerk of 
Court, for fifteen pounds and purchased one of the lots on West Broad. 
James Hall continued to live at the family place in the Bethany com- 
munity, though when his parents died they were buried in the Fourth 


Creek Cemetery. Two of the Elders of Fourth Creek, John McClelland 
and John Stevenson, also bought lots in that first sale. The new town 
grew rapidly and soon became the center of commerce and of roads. 
Some of what had been the main roads earlier became less important, 
and new ones reached in all directions from Statesville. John Nesbit's 
store had been the principal center of trade and gathering place in the 
northern part of what became Iredell County. In 1789 he bought the 
property on the southeast corner of the square where Statesville Drug 
Company is now located and moved his store to the county seat. 
Stores and taverns were among the first places of business established 
when the town was founded. At the first meeting of the court in its 
new house, orders were entered allowing Patrick Hughey to open a 
tavern in the town and setting the rates to be charged by the "several 
tavern keepers in the town". Rates were specified for various drinks, 
for meals, lodging, and keeping of guests' horses. 

At first Statesville consisted of the court house, Fourth Creek 
Church, two taverns and three stores. Dr. Rockwell reported a tradi- 
tion about the early days which he learned while gathering informa- 
tion about the community. A young lady and her friend came to 
Statesville one day and stopped at one of the taverns. "She inquired 
where the town was, for she could not see any houses." The growth of 
the village was slow. By the time of the 1800 census, ten years after 
its founding, the population of Statesville was only 76 including six 
slaves. We do not have Sessional records or church rolls from this early 
period, but may assume that most of the congregation's members 
came from the wider area covered in the Sharpe map, though by this 
time most of those listed in the northern part of the map were in the 
Bethany or Concord congregations. 

From the time of the revival in the Iredell County churches, James 
Hall had been much in demand by congregations all over the state 
seeking him to visit them and conduct evangelistic services. He 
responded to as many of these as he could while being true to his pri- 
mary responsibility to the people of Bethany, Concord, and Fourth 
Creek and the duties he undertook in relationship to Clio's Nursery. 
He pushed himself so hard that his health began to fail and his physi- 
cian advised him to cut down on his activities. At the doctor's advice, 
he took a sea voyage for his health. Sailing from Charleston, S. C. he 
went to Philadelphia where the Synod of New York and Philadelphia 
was to hold its annual meeting. There were strong head winds so the 
voyage was longer than expected but this proved to be advantageous 

James Hall and Education 83 

to the health of the passenger. The Synod met from May 17 to 26, 1786 
at the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. Hall was named as 
one of eleven members of a committee to "prepare and report a plan 
for the division of Synod into three or more Synods." 7 The work of 
this committee resulted in the erection of the new Synod of the Car- 
olinas and establishment in 1788 of the General Assembly of the Pres- 
byterian Church in America. 

Hall's journey had a beneficial effect on his health and he returned 
to Iredell County with renewed strength and zeal. He attended the 
first meeting of the Synod of the Carolinas which was held according 
to the direction of the final act of the old Synod of New York and 
Philadelphia on May 29, 1788. The new Synod was established at the 
Centre Church on the first Wednesday of November 1788. Synod rec- 
ognized the contribution of Mr. Hall and wanted to call upon him for 
additional service. Aware of the full duties Mr. Hall was already car- 
rying, steps were taken to ease his load so he would be able to under- 
take new responsibilities. In 1790, he was released from the pastorate 
of the Fourth Creek and Concord churches while continuing the rela- 
tionship with the Bethany congregation. The pastorate of Bethany con- 
tinued for another twenty-six years. That there was a desire among 
the three churches supporting division of the field is indicated in the 
action of the Concord Church seeking to secure their own minister. In 
1788 they extended a call to the Rev. Francis Cummings, a member 
of the Presbytery of South Carolina whom they had known when he 
taught at Clio's Nursery nine years before, to move to Iredell County 
to become pastor of Concord. Mr. Cummings declined the call but that 
congregation favored the opportunity to be separated from James 
Hall's parish when the change occurred. 

Having only a single church for which he was responsible, Hall was 
able to concentrate even more of his effort on the cause of education. 
He began teaching at his own home. On one of his trips north he pur- 
chased a set of "philosophical apparatus" and established in his home 
an "Academy of the Sciences" which was the first school of science 
in the state and considered to be the best before the opening of the 
University of North Carolina. Hall continued as its sole professor as 
long as his health would allow it. 

For the benefit of his congregation he also began a class for the 
young people to learn grammar. The class met on Saturday mornings 
either at his home or at Bethany Church. Books were scarce, expen- 
sive, and hard to come by so he wrote out a system of grammar and 


had manuscript copies of it distributed to members of the class. His 
grammar was widely admired and picked up for use by others. This 
acceptance led him to having it published, and "Hall's Grammar" was 
circulated widely 8 

Another important contribution of James Hall was in the theologi- 
cal training of young men preparing for the ministry. Before Princeton 
Theological Seminary was founded in 1812, those seeking the ministry 
associated themselves with an established minister under whom they 
"read theology" in preparation for examinations by the Presbytery. It 
will be remembered that after Hall secured his degree from Nassau 
Hall, he read theology under direction of Dr. Witherspoon rather than 
accept the offered instructorship at Nassau Hall. 

At his home near Bethany, Hall conducted a School of Theology in 
which he trained a whole series of those who were to become some of 
the 19th century's outstanding preachers. Foote's Sketches lists twenty 
names of ones who received their theological training under his direc- 
tion including: John Brown who was to become President of the Uni- 
versity of Georgia; John Robinson, Pastor of Poplar Tent and Concord 
Town; Andrew Flinn, Pastor in Charleston, S.C.; Thomas J. Hall of 
Tennessee; and Joseph D. Kilpatrick, Pastor of Third Creek and Joppa 
(now Mocksville). 9 

A contemporary of James Hall, the Rev. Eli Caruthers, reported the 
teacher's concern for one of his pupils. Kirkpatrick was a fine man but 
was not one of Hall's brightest pupils. When the time came for him to 
come before Orange Presbytery to be licensed to preach, the Pres- 
bytery found him to be weak in Mathematics and Languages and sent 
him back for further study until the next meeting of Presbytery. 

The following meeting was held at Bethany Church and Hall was 
chosen to be moderator. When the time came for examination of the 
candidate for licensure, the moderator asked his friend and minister- 
ial neighbor Rev. Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, pastor of Thyatira 
Church, to conduct the examination. He began in a low, monotonous 
voice, avoiding subjects in which the candidate was weak. Suppertime 
arrived and the Presbytery took recess to meet at "candlelighting 
time" in Dr. Hall's home. The meeting houses were not heated in those 
days and it was the custom to hold evening sessions in a home in the 
neighborhood. When the Presbytery was called back to order, Hall 
had things carefully prepared. A roaring fire blazed in the fireplace 
and candles were lighted all about the room. Hall called on McCorkle 
to resume the examination. Caruthers reports that the comfortable 

James Hall and Education 85 

warmth of the room and the examiner's low monotone soon led to 
members of the body being lulled to sleep. When the Moderator saw 
that his aim had been accomplished, he asked in a loud voice, "Well, 
Brethren, what did you think of the examination?" Ashamed to admit 
that they had been napping, there was general agreement that it had 
been quite satisfactory. Dr. Hall then called for a motion approving the 
examination and authorizing the licensure of Mr. Kirkpatrick. The 
motion was passed without dissent. 

Hall's concern for education extended far beyond his own congre- 
gations. He was active in promoting the establishment of the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina which opened in 1795 and was honored by that 
institution's granting him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. 
He donated sixty volumes from his own collection, largely works in 
Latin on Theology, Metaphysics and Logic, to help found the library 
of the university. 

His own alma mater, the University of New Jersey, successor to 
Nassau Hall and now Princeton University, also granted him a D.D. 
When the Presbyterian General Assembly moved to establish a theo- 
logical seminary, Hall was a strong supporter. He earnestly desired a 
location further south believing that such a site would promote the 
unity of American Presbyterians, but when Princeton was chosen, he 
gave his best abilities to its promotion. He traveled through the south 
promoting the new seminary and soliciting contributions for it. He 
gave of his own means, donated to the Seminary library many of the 
books from his own library which he had used for the young men 
who had "read theology" under his supervision. In his will he made 
a bequest to the seminary of two hundred and fifty acres of valuable 
land he owned in Tennessee. For a number of years he served as one 
of the Directors of the Seminary on appointment of the General 

After having been on the committee which planned the division of 
the Church into four synods (Synod of New York and New Jersey, 
Synod of Philadelphia, Synod of Virginia, and Synod of the Carolinas) 
and the establishment of the General Assembly in 1789, he was faith- 
ful in support of the higher courts of the church. He is recorded as 
attending all but one meeting of the Synod of the Carolinas from its 
first meeting in 1789 until the Synod of South Carolina was set off as 
a separate body in 1813. He was elected as Moderator of the Synod 
of the Carolinas in 1794 and again at the final meeting of the Synod 
before its division into separate bodies for the two states. 


As frequently as possible he attended the annual meetings of the 
Presbyterian General Assembly. Though the early records of Orange 
Presbytery are no longer in existence and the minutes of Concord 
Presbytery, organized in 1795, do not show his appointment as their 
commissioner to the General Assembly, we do know that he attended 
the Assembly sixteen times, at many of them being the only represen- 
tative traveling from Carolina to participate. He made these trips to 
Philadelphia by horseback or riding his own gig. He may have made 
some of the trips by sea as he had in attending the 1786 meeting of the 
Synod of Philadelphia and New York, but his usual practice was to 
ride north through the country, stopping where he could and respond- 
ing to requests to preach in the communities through which he 
passed. Foote says that he made missionary excursions of these trips 
"and by taking different routes much enlarged his acquaintance and 
the sphere of his usefulness. 11 His leadership in the General Assembly 
was recognized when he was elected as its moderator in 1803 — the 
first and only presiding officer of that body from North Carolina in the 
years before the division of the church at the time of the Civil War. 

Hall's contribution as a visiting evangelist, which had begun in the 
counties near where he lived, was expanded after founding of the 
Synod of the Carolinas. In 1793 the Commission of Synod appointed 
him to make a missionary journey to the eastern part of North Car- 
olina. This was the first of fourteen long and intensive excursions he 
took under direction of his Synod or of the General Assembly. He 
reported on his missions in writing and some of them are included 
in the Minutes of Synod. He made trips to eastern North Carolina, to 
Kentucky and other areas throughout the south. In the fall of 1800, 
he undertook a mission to the lower Mississippi valley. The original 
object of this trip was to reach the Indians, but it extended for nine 
months and reached out to all the people he encountered. At Natchez, 
Mississippi he made the first Protestant presentation of the Gospel to 
be heard in that region. He made a thorough report to the 1801 Synod 
and it was picked up and published under the title: "Report of a Mis- 
sionary Tour through the Mississippi and Southwestern Country". 
Foote says that this report was "read with great interest as being the 
best description ever given of that part of the southern country . . . " 12 

Hall was a strong supporter of the Bible cause. He was one of the 
organizers of the North Carolina Bible Society and was elected as its 
first president. He was faithful in attendance at its annual meetings. 
On one occasion the meeting was to be held in Raleigh and shortly 

James Hall and Education 87 

after he started a storm of rain and snow hit which continued during 
his whole journey. At some point on that 150 mile trip, he was met 
by a lawyer acquaintance who asked the aging minister, "Where are 
you going in this storm?" "To attend the Bible Society in Raleigh." 
"Where were you yesterday?" "I traveled about thirty miles; where 
were you?" "O, I was lying by; it was too bad to travel." When Hall 
arrived in Raleigh he found himself to be the only delegate present. 
For all the others it had been too bad to travel. 13 

On one of his trips north, he went on from the General Assembly 
meeting in Philadelphia to New York. There in 1816 he attended the 
founding convention of the American Bible Society representing the 
North Carolina Society and is reported by the society as one of its 

Though officially released from his charge over the Fourth Creek 
congregation, James Hall continued his warm concern for them, often 
filled their pulpit, and was largely influential in helping them secure 
his successor. His part in the Great Revival will be reported below. 

Through the years of his ministry, Hall had periods of melancholy 
and depression. When such came upon him he refused to lead the 
worship of his people. He would come to the house of God and join 
in the worship led by the elders and would occasionally lead in prayer 
or give a short exhortation from the clerk's stand in front of the pul- 
pit, but in times when he felt "God had hid His face from him" he 
refused to preach from the sacred desk. One Sunday he was in this 
state of mind when he arrived at Bethany. Despite the request of the 
elders, he declined to preach though a large congregation had assem- 
bled. He entered the building and took a place on the front pew. Elder 
William Stevenson from Fourth Creek arrived late that morning. He 
was known as "Little Gabriel" from his fervency in prayer and his 
small size. He had the reputation of being able to approach the throne 
of God more nearly than any person in the area. The elders told 
Stevenson of Dr. Hall's depression, and he was greatly distressed. He 
entered the church and joined them in the "Elder's pew" at the front 
of the church. After a hymn was sung "Little Gabriel" rose and led the 
congregation in prayer. His first petition was: 

"O Lord, cast the deaf and dumb devil out of our pastor; this deaf devil, 
that will not allow him to hear the promises of the gospel; and this 
dumb devil, that will not suffer him to preach as he has heretofore 
done. 13 


At the close of the prayer the beloved pastor was seen rising from 
his seat. To Mr. Stevenson he said, "I will try to preach today." Reports 
are that the prayer of "Little Gabriel" had been heard and the sermon 
showed that the deaf and dumb devils had been cast out. 

In July 1819, Dr. Hall returned from his last trip to the General 
Assembly and the Anniversary of the American Bible Society and 
shortly after that he preached his final sermon. For the last seven years 
of his life he remained in the Bethany community and had opportu- 
nity to rejoice that weak and inadequate though he felt himself to be, 
God had used him as the instrument for the conversion of others. 

In the churchyard near his beloved Bethany Church is found the 
following marker: 

Beneath this stone are deposited 

the remains of 

The Rev. JAMES HALL, D.D. 

who departed this life 

July 25th, 1826, 

in the 82nd year of his age. 

For 12 years he sustained the office of Pastor 

to the united congregations of Fourth 
Creek, Concord, and Bethany; and for 26 years 
to that of Bethany alone. He was a man of 
science as well as piety; and for his ex- 
tensive labors in the cause of his Divine 
Master, as well as for his great usefulness 
as a preceptor of youth, his memory is 
embalmed in the hearts of his people. 

The pains of death are passed, 

Labor and sorrow cease, 

And life's long warfare closed at last, 

His soul is found in peace. 

Soldier of Christ, well done, 

Praise be thy new employ, 
And while eternal ages run, 

Rest in thy Saviour's joy. 

fames Hall and Education 


Footnotes to Chapter IX 

1. "Clio's Nursery", N. C. Historical Marker M-23, N. C. Department of Archives and History, 
Raleigh, N.C. 

2. Keever, op. cit., p. 82. 

3. Rockwell, E. E, The Second Classical School in Iredell County, from Rockwell papers, n.d., His- 
torical Foundation, Montreat, N.C. 

4. Foote, op. cit., p. 330. 

5. Rockwell, E. E, "Descendants of Scottish Martyrs in North Carolina", from. Rockwell papers, n.d., 

Historical Foundation, Montreat, N.C. 

6. Indenture on record in Rowan County Court House, Salisbury, N.C, recorded February 1796. 

7. Klett's Minutes, op. cit. 1786, p. 607. 

8. Foote, Wm. H., op. cit., p. 330-331. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Ibid p. 324. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Ibid, p. 334. 

This is a scene in the Old Cemetery which shows some of the original graves with their 
markers. In the foreground is a typical original soap stone marker which was or 
appears to have been home made. The box woods and the large cedar trees are typi- 
cal of any old cemetery but the size of the English boxwoods indicates the age of the 








Chapter Ten 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 

For several years after Dr. Hall was released from his pastoral 
responsibilities for Fourth Creek and Concord Churches the 
united congregation was without a resident minister of its own. 
We do not have a record of who the ministers were that supplied 
Fourth Creek in the interim before they secured their next pastor. We 
may assume that some Sabbaths their preachers were the pastors of 
nearby congregations, for example: Samuel E. McCorkle of Thyatira, 
James McRae of Centre, and perhaps some of the candidates for the 
ministry doing their theological study under Dr. Hall. Other Sundays 
the congregation was gathered and the services conducted by the 
Elders as had been their custom before the coming of Dr. Hall. 

We may be sure that one who filled in was a physician in the com- 
munity, Dr. Lewis Feuilleteau Wilson, who had practiced medicine 
in Statesville since 1786. He had been a college friend of James Hall 
and had come to North Carolina at the encouragement of Hall. Prior 
to his medical training, he had studied theology under Dr. Wither- 
spoon, Hall's mentor. In time he was to become the second pastor of 
Fourth Creek. 

Lewis F. Wilson had been born on St. Christopher Island in the West 
Indies in 1752. We do not know his parents' names, but it is reported 
that his mother was French and his father was a wealthy planter from 
England. He wanted his sons to have an English education so while 
they were still small he sent Lewis, age 4, and his brother, age 6, back 
to his home country for schooling. The older brother died while the 
ship was at sea and Lewis' kin folks met him and arranged for his 
enrollment in a good public school in London. Several years later his 
father returned to England where he became a successful merchant. 
Lewis continued in the grammar school until he was 17. 

In 1769 he came to America with an uncle who was emigrating and 
entered Nassau Hall (Princeton). His college record was superior and 
when graduation time came, he was granted the Bachelor's degree 


with honors. His ranking was second in the class and the Trustees 
asked him to make one of the student addresses at the graduation 
ceremony. We do not know the thinking that prompted his response, 
whether he knew one of his class mates who would have been 
embarrassed at not being included in the group who were to make 
addresses, or whether it was just from his own humility, but he 
declined the honor. At a meeting of the Trustees in the presence of 
his class, the president announced the names of the five students 
who were to receive this recognition. Young Wilson arose and 
addressed the President: "Sir, I feel myself under obligation to the 
trustees for their compliment to me; it is well enough to deserve such 
an oration, but I do not choose to accept it, and desire that it may 
be given to another." 1 His request was honored and he did not 
appear on the stage at commencement and the salutatory address 
was given by another. This event has been pointed out as showing 
a trait of character which he exhibited throughout his life; always 
being recognized by his brethren as deserving a high rank and 
declining to put himself forward. 

In 1772, a revival broke forth at the college. One result was that Wil- 
son and thirteen members of his class turned to the study of theolo- 
gy in preparation for the ministry. When the revival started Wilson 
was open in his opposition to these religious expressions. He had been 
reared in the Episcopal tradition and was regular in his attendance at 
worship, but would not engage in discussion with anyone on the mat- 
ters of religion which became so prominent during the revival. Care- 
fully correct in his personal life, he did not want to be bothered about 
his experience by the Presbyterian ministers and teachers. Convinced 
of his own righteousness, he continued to pour contempt upon the act 
of the Spirit evidenced in what was occurring in the revival. 

His antagonism continued until one evening he himself was 
moved. In a sketch on Dr. Wilson published shortly after his death, the 
Rev. John M. Wilson, a fellow North Carolinian and pastor of the 
Rocky River and Philadelphia Churches, wrote: 

"... that same mercy that arrested a persecuting Saul, arrested Mr. Wil- 
son. One evening when Dr. Spencer was preaching in the College Hall, 
he was seized with deep and sore convictions. He then found by his 
own experience that these things were important realities, which he had 
hitherto viewed as enthusiasm, and little better than a species of mad- 
ness in others. He laboured for a considerable time under some distress, 
but at length obtained comfortable religious hopes. 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 93 

"From that until he left College he was exemplary in his life and con- 
versation; zealous in his station, building up that cause which before he 
had wasted." 2 

Through the rest of his college career, Wilson was a strong advo- 
cate for the cause which he had so strenuously rejected. Thereafter 
his aim was directed at living a Christian life, ever ready to respond 
to any call to serve others. Though he had been brought up as the 
son of a wealthy citizen of London, there was no hint of snobbery 
in his relations with others. Regardless of their wealth or poverty, his 
friends were chosen for their moral and spiritual excellence. The 
principles he determined at this time were paramount in guiding the 
rest of his life. 

Just after he graduated in September 1773, he took a trip to London. 
It was his intention to take orders in the Church of England, the 
church in which he had been reared, if he could foresee the prospect 
of usefulness and satisfaction in that ministry. His investigation con- 
vinced him that the condition of the National Church was such that he 
could not find the desired fulfillment in the Church of England. He 
decided to seek the ministry of another denomination: the Presbyter- 
ian, the Methodist, or the Free Churches. His father who was a man of 
wealth and influence and could have secured him a place in a city or 
pleasant rural parish, encouraged his son to follow that course and 
pressed him to take orders in the National Church. Lewis considered 
the encouragement, but was convinced that he could not be satisfied 
in such a relationship. The father accused him of becoming a Presby- 
terian in America and threatened to disinherit him if he persisted in 
that course. Lewis was determined to enter another church and was 
left penniless by his father. 

As it happened, an aunt had died only a short time before, leaving 
him a legacy of 300 guineas. After being in England about five 
months, he secured the bequest and providing himself with a 
wardrobe and a small library, set sail for America. Landing in 
Philadelphia, he went to Princeton where he entered on the study of 
Theology under Dr. Witherspoon in the spring of 1774. Very shortly 
after that he accepted a position as tutor in the college, a position he 
held for about a year. It may have been a result of Dr. Witherspoon's 
participation in the Continental Congress and his signing the Decla- 
ration of Independence, but when the British invaded New Jersey the 
college was broken up. A fellow tutor, deciding to go to Philadelphia 
and enter the study of medicine under his uncle, persuaded Wilson to 


join him. After completing two years of medical training, he gave him- 
self to promotion of the cause of American Independence. He volun- 
teered and served as a surgeon in the continental army through the 
Revolutionary War, sometimes with the army and at other times on 
board ships of war. In 1781 he learned in a letter of the death of his 
father and that he was to receive a legacy of 500 pounds sterling from 
his father's will. On receiving that news, he made another trip to Eng- 
land to claim his inheritance and then returned to America. 

When he got back, he returned to the familiar surroundings of 
Princeton where he entered on the practice of medicine. Wilson later 
reported that this period was a crucial one in his life. He secluded 
himself as much as possible and gave himself to a study of the entire 
Old and New Testaments. He reviewed the whole course of life, par- 
ticularly the various changes which had occurred since he first land- 
ed in America and sought to find the course he should take in the 
years ahead. His reputation as an outstanding Christian was only 
enhanced during this Princeton stay. The way he followed his pro- 
fession, the companions he chose, and the activities in which he 
engaged were exemplary. 

When James Hall made his northern trip in the spring of 1786, one 
of the places he stopped was Princeton. There he renewed his acquain- 
tance with Lewis Wilson, whom he had known when they were both 
associated with the school. Hall encouraged his friend to come to 
North Carolina, both to continue their friendship and also to move 
to this area where his medical skills were needed. In August Wilson 
responded to his friend's invitation and came for a visit. The prospects 
in the area of Hall's congregations appealed to him, and he decided to 
stay and establish a medical practice here. 

Not long after his move to Iredell in 1786, he became attracted to 
Margaret Hall, a daughter of Captain Hugh Hall, James' brother. The 
feelings were mutual and in less than a year, at the age of thirty-three, 
Lewis Feuilleteau Wilson was united in marriage to Margaret Hall in 
a service conducted by her uncle Dr. James Hall. They established a 
home and in time were the parents of four daughters and three sons. 
Two of the sons were to become Presbyterian ministers. 

The need for a physician in the Carolina back country proved true, 
and Wilson quickly established a successful medical practice. He 
found, however, that though things were going well for him profes- 
sionally, his home and married life being all he might have hoped for, 
he was not satisfied with himself. It may have been that his conscience 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 95 

was troubled by his abandonment of the study of theology even 
though the reason for the change in his profession had not been of his 
own doing. His friend Hall encouraged him to resume his studies for 
the ministry. The same appeal was made by others who urged him to 
turn from healing the bodies of people to preaching the riches of 
Christ for the salvation of their souls. Influential members of Orange 
Presbytery joined in presenting this challenge to him. 

After four years as a doctor in the community, he abandoned the 
practice of medicine and returned to the study of theology under his 
friend Hall. In 1791 he presented himself to Orange Presbytery as a 
candidate for the ministry. After approving all parts of his examina- 
tion, Presbytery licensed him to preach in 1791. 

The expectations of his friends that he could make a great contribu- 
tion as a minister proved to be correct. His preaching was so favorably 
received that a number of vacant churches sought to call him as their 
pastor. Two of the congregations to which he proclaimed the Word of 
God during this period of trial of his gifts were Fourth Creek and Con- 
cord (Iredell), the two congregations from which James Hall had been 
released in 1790. These two extended a call to him to become their pas- 
tor. He accepted and Orange Presbytery ordained and installed him in 
June, 1793 as the second pastor of Fourth Creek and Concord. 

Lewis Wilson served both of these churches for the next ten years 
in a manner that was most satisfactory to the people. They were 
pleased to have as their pastor, one who was already known and 
admired by them from his years as their doctor. His recognized spiri- 
tuality made him a fitting successor to their beloved James Hall. The 
two remained close through the years when they both ministered to 
the people of Iredell. They shared their experience from college days, 
the joint study of theology after Wilson had moved to North Carolina, 
their family ties through the Hall family, their commitment to the 
cause of Christ, and now their concern for the spiritual welfare of the 
people of this back country region. 

In those days, communion seasons were a high point in the life of a 
church. For three days before a Sunday when the Lord's Supper was 
going to be observed, preparatory services were held. Members of the 
congregations of surrounding churches would travel many miles to 
participate. When the time came for celebration of the sacrament, a 
nearby minister or ministers would join the pastor in the administra- 
tion. We may be sure that Lewis Wilson and James Hall shared on 
many of these occasions, both in the three churches of which they 


were pastors and in neighboring congregations: Centre in Iredell, Thy- 
atira and Third Creek in Rowan. 

In the opening years of the nineteenth century, a revival began in 
the Southern states which spread across America. The earliest mani- 
festations of it appeared in events like the revival at Fourth Creek, 
which had occurred under the preaching of James Hall not many 
years after the Revolutionary War and the revival which began in 
Hampden-Sydney College in 1787 and spread across that state and 
into the counties in the northern part of Orange Presbytery. James 
McGready, a young man recently licensed to preach, was journeying 
towards Guilford County to visit his home. On the way he stopped in 
Hampden-Sydney and visited its President, John Blair Smith, while 
the revival there was still underway. Impressed by what was going on, 
he extended his stay to five days. He carried the zeal he acquired there 
into Carolina and was instrumental in bringing the revival into the 
churches along the Haw River. The churches affected were Hawfields, 
Cross Roads, Alamance, Stony Creek, Bethlehem, Eno and Haw River, 
all a part of Orange Presbytery. This was the second revival of religion 
in North Carolina after the Revolution, preceded only by the one in 
Iredell County. 

McGready moved to the new state of Kentucky in 1796. There he 
was one of the principal agents in the development of what came to 
be known as the Great Revival. The movement which had been seen 
in the earlier revivals in North Carolina and Virginia had its major 
expansion in the developing country of Kentucky. The first evidences 
of what was to come occurred in the small churches McGready 
served. At first, one woman and then groups were moved by the Spir- 
it and came to new acceptance of God's grace. McGready reported 
what followed: 

"In the summer of 1798, at the administration of the sacrament of the 
supper in July, on Monday, the Lord graciously poured out his spirit, a 
very general awakening took place. Perhaps but few families in the con- 
gregation could be found who less or more were not struck with an 
awful sense of their lost estate." 3 

As reports of what had happened spread, the ministers and peo- 
ple of other congregations were attracted. At communion seasons, 
people from communities all around an area gathered to the church 
where the semiannual observance was to be held. The first of the 
physical expressions that became so much a part of the "Kentucky 
Revival" began to appear at these meetings — persons cried out 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 97 

aloud, some fell to the ground and lay powerless, groaning, praying, 
and crying for mercy. The expressions of religious excitement spread 
all across the Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio region. The usual three 
day communion seasons were often extended to four or five days with 
hundreds and later thousands gathering. People would come for 
many miles on horseback, in their wagons or on foot and stay on the 
grounds engaged day and night in religious services, listened to 
exhortations from the different ministers, and uniting in prayer and 
praise. Camp meetings which, were to become so much a part of the 
Great Revival, had their beginning at Gasper River, one of the church- 
es in McGready's charge. In the summer of 1800, he issued an invita- 
tion for people from far and wide to come to Gasper River for their 
communion season. Dr. Ernest T. Thompson, the eminent historian of 
the Presbyterian Church in the South, gives this description: 

"Impelled by curiosity, a large throng assembled from distances of forty 
to a hundred miles. Some slept in tents, others in covered wagons — all 
arranged to form a giant hollow square. In the interior was a rude 
stand, facing a row of roughly hewn logs designed as seats . . . On Sat- 
urday night the emotions of two women were communicated to oth- 
ers until the whole camp resounded with sobs and cries; and the min- 
isters spent the night in passing from one group to another, who were 
penetrated with pungent convictions of sin, and anxious to obtain relief. 
The interest, once awakened, grew more and more powerful, till at the 
close of the meeting, forty-five individuals were numbered as hopeful 
converts." 4 

Camp Meetings came to be the custom throughout the trans-moun- 
tain country. The crowds who gathered became too large for assem- 
bling in one group of worshippers. Several different ministers would 
officiate at the same time at different stands. The physical expressions 
became more pronounced; some would fall down in a trance during 
the most solemn parts of divine services remaining stretched out for 
as much as several hours until they arose, giving glad expression of 
their assurance of salvation. There were even more bizarre expressions 
observed: jerking, rolling on the ground, running, and barking in 
which the subject took a position of all fours, moving about with 
growls, snapping of the teeth, and barking like a dog. Obviously, the 
extremes attracted the most attention, but they were never the norm. 
These bodily exercises were objected to by many of the Presbyterian 
ministers and, with the insistence of high standards for those ordained 
as ministers, were points of disagreement which played a major part 


in the break off of what became the Cumberland Presbyterian Church 
as a separate denomination (1829) and were a factor in the division 
of the Presbyterian denomination into separate "old school" and "new 
school" Assemblys. 

From Kentucky, the revival spread to the surrounding states. In 
August 1801, a communion season was held at Cross Roads in Orange 
county. No unusual interest was shown until the pastor was saying 
some closing words before dismissing the congregation. At that time 
a young man recently come from Kentucky raised his hands and cried 
out "Stand still and see the salvation of God!" Sobs and groans broke 
out all over the house. Any thought of closing the service were for- 
gotten and the remainder of the day was spent in prayer, singing, 
exhortation, and evidences of personal conversion. It was midnight 
before the people could be persuaded to leave and go to their homes. 

In October Mr. Paisley called for extended services to be held in 
connection with the fall observance of the Lord's Supper at Hawfields, 
the other church in his field. The excitement was great and people 
gathered from Hawfields, Cross Roads, and all the surrouding area. 
They came from a distance in their wagons, prepared to remain on the 
ground both day and night. The gathering lasted five days with ser- 
vices of worship, singing, preaching and personal testimonies almost 
continuously, taking intermission only for short periods of sleep in the 
middle of the night. This was the first Camp Meeting held in North 

The experience of that meeting led David Caldwell, the pastor of 
Bells Meeting House in Randolph County, to invite ministers and con- 
gregations all across the area to gather with the people of his congre- 
gations for an extended meeting in January 1802. He sent the invita- 
tion to include his brethren west of the Yadkin River. Having heard of 
the excitement which had occurred in Kentucky and desirous of hav- 
ing revival in their own churches, the response was very favorable. 
Eight Presbyterian, one Baptist, and two Methodist clergymen were 
there. On the grounds were a hundred and eight wagons plus those 
who came by carriage or on horseback. From across the Yadkin, Wil- 
son of Fourth Creek and Concord, Hall of Bethany, McCorkle of Thy- 
atira, and Kirkpatrick of Third Creek all came with about 100 of their 
people. There were differences in their attitudes toward the work. 
McCorkle was strongly prejudiced against considering the physical 
exercises as a part of the work of the Spirit. Both Hall and Kilpatrick 
believed that the work was of God and were not much troubled by the 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 99 

exercises. Concerning Wilson's reaction, Foote says he was "less prej- 
udiced against the work than Mr. McCorkle, but not prepared to vin- 
dicate altogether the exercises, though he greatly desired a revival in 
his charge ... " 5 

In a letter written in May 1802, Dr. Hall reported on the Randolph 
meeting and others which followed shortly thereafter. He said that on 
the way to Bells Meeting House the clergymen rode on horseback and 
the people in wagons. The ministers passed on and arrived at the 
meeting place Friday evening in time for the service. When the peo- 
ple from Bethany and Fourth Creek arrived on Saturday, they told of 
an occurrence the night before. They had camped for the night about 
five miles from their destination. After making camp, they gathered at 
the home of the family on whose land they were camped. Hall reports: 

"At evening prayer ... a man about thirty years old became deeply 
affected, who I believe was pious from an early period of youth. 
Impressions immediately ran through the assembly like fire along a 
train of powder; so that in a very short time almost all the young peo- 
ple, who composed about three fourths of the company, became reli- 
giously exercised. The fathers were filled with astonishment, as none 
present had ever beheld such a scene. Nothing but cries could be heard 
for a considerable time. When those had in a measure subsided, the 
fathers spent the greater part of the night in prayer and exhortation." 6 

The meeting lasted until Tuesday morning when the people gath- 
ered for prayer and some brief admonitions before they were dis- 
missed. The Iredell County people returned home, feeling that they 
had been greatly blessed, and bore witness in their home communi- 
ties of what they had experienced of the power of God. Their testi- 
mony was influential in attracting more and more from the churches 
of Iredell to participate in the meetings which followed. 

Having witnessed the effects of the Randolph meeting and wanting 
to have their people share in such a blessed occasion, the ministers of 
Concord Presbytery called for a meeting the last week of January in 
Iredell County. It is reported that the number of wagons which came 
was a hundred and eight besides carriages. The number that attend- 
ed on Sabbath was about 4,000. On this morning, Dr. Hall reported: 

"Divine services began on Friday at 2 o'clock. At that juncture a rain 
began to fall, which continued until near night. A considerable number 
were exercised that night. Next morning a considerable heavy sleet 
began to fall about 9 o'clock, then snow, which terminated in a heavy 
rain. This continued until four in the afternoon; and the day was with- 


out exception the most inclement on any during the whole winter. 
Notwithstanding this, the people collected at ten, in two assemblies, 
and all ages and sexes stood there exposed until sunsetting. Exercises 
went on rapidly, and large numbers were deeply affected." 7 

Two weeks later, a similar revival was held near Morganton, sixty 
miles to the west of Statesville. That area was thinly populated so the 
numbers attending were not as large as they had been at the earlier 
gatherings, but the results were similar. Then the following weekend, 
a third such meeting was held, this one in the southern part of Iredell 
county near Cross Roads (present day Shepherds). This one was 
attended by fourteen Presbyterian, two Baptist, three Methodist, one 
Dutch Calvinist, one Episcopal, and two Lutheran clergymen. Dr. Hall 
estimates that between 8,000 and 10,000 people participated in the 
gathering which lasted from Friday afternoon until Tuesday at noon. 
In his History of Concord Presbytery, "Confronted By Challenge", pages 
28-30, Mr. McGeachy quotes the extensive report on the Cross Roads 
meeting which was written by Pastor Paul Henkel, a Lutheran min- 
ister from Rowan county, who drew up a report of what he observed 
in the first days of the meeting. His theological discomfort with some 
of what he witnesses caused him to return home before the gather- 
ing was concluded but what he tells of the Cross Roads meeting is 
helpful. Pastor Henkel reported: 

"The meeting began on Friday and continued through Tuesday. It was 
the coldest time of the year. The tents and wagons were placed in a reg- 
ular circle, and those who were within this circle were also placed in 
order. In different directions a person could see small groups like little 
villages. On all sides could be heard preaching, exhorting, weeping, 
lamenting, shouting, singing, praying, praising God, thanksgiving, etc. 
In many of the tents people were seen lying with covered faces, pray- 
ing, exhorting, and reproving. Some were lying in a trance . . . On every 
platform there was unceasing preaching. Some of the old Presbyterians 
preached the Gospel as I love to hear it in spite of the fact that they let 
all that was said which was wrong and unscriptural pass unnoticed and 
unchallenged." 8 

Two weeks later, another meeting was held near Charlotte and Hall 
reports on three others in the area of Concord Presbytery in the fol- 
lowing summer. Camp Meetings continued to be popular in the years 
that followed and spread throughout the South and West. The revivals 
were continued for many years, but the intense excitement and phys- 
ical reactions were greatly abated after 1805. There continued to be 

Second Pastor Lewis F. Wilson 101 

disagreement about the authenticity of the revival and particularly on 
whether the physical exercises were from God's Spirit or the result of 
human hysteria. 

In 1803, the same year as the Iredell County revivals, James Hall 
made another trip to Philadelphia to represent Concord Presbytery at 
the meeting of the General Assembly. He was well known by his 
brethren from the seventeen times that he attended the annual Assem- 
bly meetings and the extensive evangelistic trips he had taken across 
the church on appointment by his synod and the General Assembly. 
The body honored him by electing him as its moderator, the first per- 
son from the South to be chosen to lead the highest court of the church 
and the only minister on the roll of Fourth Creek's pastors ever to be 
so recognized. That Assembly adopted a statement on the revival 
which stated: "last year furnished also increasing evidence that it is 
indeed the work of God, for which the friends of piety are bound to 
praise his holy name." 9 

The next year's Assembly again spoke in approval of the revival but 
warned against "excesses highly reproachful to religion . . . antic ges- 
tures, ridiculous contortions, to movements of apparent levity, and 
contrary to propriety and religious order, and which resemble the 
effects of delirium, or of a spirit very different from the gospel; these 
are evidences of a wild enthusiasm, whose extravagances are infinite- 
ly various and unaccountable." 10 

At Fourth Creek, there were those who believed in the revival and 
were willing to overlook the extravagances of the exercises, but oth- 
ers, while continuing to desire the spread of the gospel in their midst, 
did not believe some of the expressions which had become accepted 
as the action of the Spirit and proof of conversion were appropriate. 
Some objected to the camp meetings and questioned whether an expe- 
rience under those circumstances was sufficient evidence of conver- 
sion and should be the only qualification for admission to Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper. Their position was that Baptism as an infant 
and living a blameless life was all that was required of those who were 
coming to make professions of faith. This division of opinion carried 
into the Session. Leader of the pro-revival group was "Little Gabriel" 
Stevenson who himself had been converted under the preaching of 
the great English evangelist George Whitefield during his tour of 
America sixty years before. The opposing viewpoint was taken in the 
Session by Elder John McLelland who would rather give up protract- 
ed meetings for revival until they could be ridded of the objectionable 


exercises. For him, admission to sealing ordinances came as a result of 
faithful following of the Lord through the Church, not from an emo- 
tional experience which a person had. We do not have detailed records 
of the Session for this period, but it is probable that the conflict was 
based on questions as to whether the experience of converts at the 
camp meetings was sufficient for admission to the church. 

As moderator of the Session, Lewis Wilson found himself some- 
where between the two positions. He himself had been converted at a 
revival while he was in college and, desiring the spiritual rebirth of the 
people in his charge, had encouraged participation in the work. How- 
ever, he had serious doubts about the physical exercises which had 
become a standard part of the camp meeting conversions. The dis- 
agreement between Stevenson and McLelland continued despite the 
pastor's attempts to find common ground on which they could agree. 
The continued conflict within the session led Mr. Wilson to resign his 
pastorate of Fourth Creek. Tradition says that there was no bitterness 
against Mr. Wilson and the congregation as a whole would have been 
quite satisfied if the competing elders had just dropped the whole 
thing, for both sides had great affection for their pastor. Wilson, how- 
ever, was not willing to continue to preside over a divided session and 
with Presbytery's approval withdrew from Fourth Creek in 1803 and 
spent the rest of his life as pastor of the Concord Church. 

When he died, December 11, 1804, he was buried in the Bethany 
church-yard at a place selected by his wife's kin. It was twenty-two 
years later that James Hall died. His grave was placed beside his 
beloved friend Lewis Wilson. A visit to the old Bethany graveyard 
makes a pleasant drive, and it is appropriate for those of First Pres- 
byterian Church, Statesville to make a pilgrimage to the resting place 
of these two fathers in the faith who played such an important part in 
the history of this congregation. 

Footnotes to Chapter X 

1. W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 339 

2. John M. Wilson The Blessedness of Such as Die in the Lord, 1806: F. Cooper, Salisbury, N.C. p. 

3. W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 377 

4. E. T. Thompson, Vol. I, op. cit. p. 134 

5. W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 381 

6. Ibid p. 382 

7. Ibid p. 385 

8. Neill R. McGeachy Confronted By Challenge, 1985: p. 28 

9. Ibid p. 31 (quotation of Minutes of the General Assembly 1803) 

10. Ibid p. 32 (quotation of Minutes of the General Assembly 1804) 

Chapter Eleven 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 

After Lewis F. Wilson left Fourth Creek Church, the congregation 
was without a resident pastor for the next twenty years. It may 
be that the reputation of having dissent within the Session 
made it more difficult for them to attract a pastor. Some years had to 
pass before the disagreement subsided. William Stevenson, the pro- 
revival leader and one of the original elders from the organization of 
the church in 1764, died in 1809 and was buried in the Fourth Creek 
Cemetery. In 1957 Governor Adlai E. Stevenson, who twice had been 
the Democratic Party's candidate for President, came to Statesville to 
visit the grave of his ancestor. John McLelland's opposition to the 
revival seems to have been based upon objection to what he considered 
the excessive physical evidences as well as the number who left the 
Presbyterian fellowship to join other churches. He lived until 1827 and 
continued as a member of the session. After the death of Stevenson the 
conflict ebbed though it was years before the division was healed. 

The Presbytery and Synod were mindful of the vacant congrega- 
tions within their bounds and approved or appointed some of their 
members to supply them. On the opening pages of the 1841 Session 
Minute Book of Fourth Creek Church is a brief sketch of the congre- 
gation's history up to that time. That record says: 

"From 1804 to 1823 Fourth Creek was a vacant congregation not how- 
ever destitute of the preached Gospel. We had during this time stated 
Supplies irregularly Doctr McCorkle for several years part of his time, 
Doctr McRea the one fifth of his time for several years. The Rev. John M. 
Irvin one third of his time for about 2 years. And the Rev. John Mushat 
part of his time about 3 years — who was not a Presbyterian but a 
Seceder Preacher." 1 

On Sabbaths when there was no minister to conduct worship for 
them, the elders took seriously their responsibility as spiritual leaders 
of the congregation and, following the practice of their fathers in the 


years before Dr. Hall had come as their first pastor, gathered the peo- 
ple at the place of prayer and led services themselves. When they did 
have stated supplies the usual practice was for the Ordained Minister 
to be with them once or twice a month and, undoubtedly, a number of 
the people rode out to Bethany to hear Dr. Hall or to Concord to wor- 
ship under the leadership of Dr. Wilson, but the Fourth Creek congre- 
gation met each Sabbath and looked forward to the time when they 
would have their own pastor again. 

The first of those reported as supply ministers during this interim 
was the Reverend Samuel Eusebius McCorkle who for thirty years had 
been Pastor of the Thyatira Church in Rowan County. Fourth Creek 
and Thyatira had been two of the original congregations founded at 
the time of the settlement of the North Carolina back country. Just as 
had been true of James Hall, he found the primary place of his ministry 
in the community where he had grown up. There were other parallels 
in the lives of the two men. McCorkle had been a graduate of Prince- 
ton also and had been ordained and installed as the pastor of Thyati- 
ra in 1777, just two years after Hall had come to Fourth Creek. Their 
names and that of James McRee are listed as the first three on the roll 
of Concord Presbytery when it was established in 1795. It was noted 
earlier that Dr. McCorkle accompanied James Hall and Lewis Wilson 
when they went to the Randolph County meeting which signaled the 
beginning of the Great Revival in North Carolina. When the Universi- 
ty of North Carolina was being established Dr. McCorkle was consid- 
ered as its first president, but there was objection of having a minister 
in this position. He was elected to be the Professor of Moral and Polit- 
ical Philosophy and History at the new university, but he declined, 
choosing to remain in the pastorate of Thyatira. He continued in this 
position until his health forced him to retire about 1807. Dr. Wilson had 
left Fourth Creek in 1803. We do not have exact records but the "sev- 
eral years — part of his time" when McCorkle supplied the pulpit of 
Fourth Creek could have been while he was still pastor of Thyatira or 
as his health allowed it during the closing years of his life between his 
retirement and his death in 1811. 

The second Supply Minister mentioned in the Fourth Creek record 
was James McRee, D.D. who was pastor of old Centre Church near 
Mooresville for over 30 years, beginning in 1798. A native of Iredell 
County, he was another who spent a major part of his ministry serv- 
ing a congregation in his home community. His parents had come to 
the back country west of the Yadkin about 1730 where James was 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 105 

born in 1752. His name is spelled variously in the Church records: 
"McRea" in the 1841 Session Book of Fourth Creek, "McKee" in the 
Minutes of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia in 1784 report- 
ing his ordination and on its subsequent rolls, and even "McCreed" 
on a plaque which hung in Centre Church at the time of Concord 
Presbytery's Centennial in 1895 honoring all the ministers who had 
served that church beginning in 1777. His own spelling of the name 
was "McRee" as evidenced in the spelling he used while Stated 
Clerk of Concord Presbytery and which spelling continues through 
the records of the Presbytery. 

When the Session was seeking someone to fill their pulpit, they 
looked first at the ministers who served nearby congregations. James 
McRee from the southern part of the county was one who answered 
their need. The Session's note says he gave "one fifth of his time for 
about 2 years/' The presbytery minutes show his faithfulness in 
attending meetings of the court and note various times when he was 
appointed to supply at vacant churches in the presbytery but do not 
mention Fourth Creek as one of these assigned places. On the 1804 roll 
of members of the Presbytery he is listed as "Without Charge". Both 
before and after that date he is shown as the pastor of Centre, but it 
is possible that about 1804 for a time he itinerated at various vacant 
churches, including Fourth Creek. Possibly his part-time ministry to 
his neighbors at the county seat may have been a few years later in an 
arrangement made with the approval of his Centre congregation. 

In the 1830's he was one of the leaders in the movement to establish 
and develop Concord Presbytery's "Manual Labor School" which 
became Davidson College. He probably had some influence in selec- 
tion of the site for the new school not far from his Centre congregation. 
As late as 1834 he was still being assigned to supply vacant church- 
es. Concerning him Dr. Foote wrote: 

"On account of infirmities of age he gave up his pastoral charge and 
removed into the mountains and resided with his children. In the year 
1839, he said his children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, 
amounted to eighty. . . . that he preached in Centre about two thousand 
times; and that on leaving his congregation he was unable to preach a 
farewell sermon on account of his own feelings. 2 

Dr. McRee died on March 28, 1840 at the age of eighty-seven. 

The next minister who supplied Fourth Creek in the interim, 
between 1804 and 1822, is given in the Session's record as "The Rev. 
John M. Irvin one third of his time for about 2 years." The clerk who 


recorded the history at the beginning of the Session's Record Book 
apparently made a mistake in spelling his name also. "Irvin" does not 
appear on the rolls of Concord Presbytery or of the synod, but John 
McKee Erwin is listed as a member of Presbytery in the 1820's. He did 
serve pastorates at Bethany, Concord, and Centre Churches. Perhaps 
in the later years of James Hall's life Erwin came to Iredell County and 
supplied Fourth Creek while he was pastor of Bethany and Concord. 
Neill McGeachy's History of Concord Presbytery notes that he 
resigned and moved to South Carolina following a disagreement in 
which he "offended some of his officers and members by making 
remarks about the payment of his salary. " 3 

One of the most interesting of the interim ministers who supplied 
Fourth Creek in these years was the Reverend John Muschat, (or 
Mushat) a native of New England. He was a preacher of the Associate 
Reformed Presbyterian Church who came to Iredell County from New 
Jersey where he had studied in Union College in the class of 1807. His 
first work here had been with A. R. P. churches in the area, but he was 
most noted as a school master. About 1815 an academy building was 
erected in the grove surrounding Fourth Creek Church. A charter was 
obtained from the state, the first school to be chartered. Neither Clio's 
Nursery, nor Hall's Academy of Sciences had been. Trustees were cho- 
sen from the area south of the Yadkin River including Col. Richard 
Allison, Joseph Davidson, Dr. Joseph Guy, William McKnight, Alexan- 
der Huggins, Major Mathews, and Capt. James Hart. 4 

The trustees secured Mr. Muschat as the head teacher. The school 
flourished under his leadership reaching an enrollment of as many as 
one hundred, twenty. For some reason not now remembered Mr. 
Muschat stopped occupying the academy building on the Fourth 
Creek property. He transferred his school to the old log courthouse 
building, which had been moved from the square to the corner of 
Broad and Tradd streets. It was during his time as school-master that 
he supplied Fourth Creek Church "for about two years". The acade- 
my continued for a while, but Mr. Muschat retired from the ministry 
and entered the practice of law in the mid 1820's. 

We have noted above the interest of Dr. James Hall in the Bible 
cause, his presidency of the North Carolina Bible Society and his 
attendance, representing North Carolina, at the founding convention 
of the American Bible Society in 1816. His zeal to promote distribu- 
tion of the Scriptures called forth support from the people of the 
region. On January 14, 1822 "a number of citizens of Iredell county 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 107 

met at the home of Mr. Robert Simonton in Statesville, with the 
intention of forming a Bible Society auxiliary to the American Bible 
Society". 5 They drew up a constitution, selected officers and named 
a committee to prepare a letter to be printed and distributed 
throughout the county declaring their intention of providing copies 
of the Scriptures to all "destitute families in the county." Presbyte- 
rians led this interdenominational effort. The first president, 
Mussenden Matthews, and one of the vice-presidents, Col. Richard 
Allison, were from Fourth Creek. Alexander Dunlap of Bethany was 
chosen as treasurer and James L. Hill of Concord as corresponding 
secretary. Two of the four ministers present at that meeting were 
James McRee and John M. Erwin and of the other twenty-one named 
to the Board of Directors at least twelve were Presbyterians. 

An old document of the County Bible Society dating from a few 
years after its organization was discovered and preserved by Charles 
E. Raynal, D.D., during his pastorate of First Presbyterian Church. It 

"The Iredell County Bible society has undertaken to supply all the des- 
titute families in this county with the Holy Scriptures. In prosecuting this 
great and good work, the society has already put into circulation near- 
ly 1800 copies of the sacred volume. And has, it is supposed on hand at 
this time, a number of Bibles sufficient to furnish all the destitute fami- 
lies within its bounds with the bread of life. A considerable debt has been 
necessarily contracted; of which about $160. remains unpaid. It is on sev- 
eral accounts desireable that this debt should now be discharged and the 
benevolent work of supplying the destitute be completed. For these pur- 
poses, your pecuniary assistance is respectfully and ernestly solicited. It 
is confidentially believed, that the friends of the Bible in Iredell County, 
can with a little exertion raise the requsite sum. The effort is therefore 
now made, in humble dependence on God for success." 6 

Ninety names are listed as responding to this appeal, with the 
amount of the contribution from each being one to five dollars, for a 
total of $120. On the back of the page is a record of "Bibles sold April 
1829". The purchasers of forty-seven Bibles at 50<2, 60c and 62 1 /2tf and 
five Testaments at 20c are named. The sheet had undoubtedly been 
prepared by the society's corresponding secretary, James L. Hill for it 
has been folded over to make notes of a Session meeting of Concord 
Church August 4, 1827 having to do with the dispute between the 
elders and John M. Erwin, their pastor. This dispute probably result- 
ed in Mr. Erwin's move to South Carolina, as mentioned above. 


On the subscription paper five are noted as donating at the five dol- 
lar level. Two of them, Joseph Davidson and Thomas Allison, were 
elders of Fourth Creek Church, and two were ministers. The Reverend 
Stephen Frontis had been Orange Presbytery's missionary 1823-25 and 
had returned to Iredell County to be pastor of Bethany Church from 
1828-36. The second clergyman was Daniel Gould who became the 
third pastor of Fourth Creek Church in 1823. 

Daniel Gould was a native of Nottingham, New Hampshire born 
November 12, 1789. He lived for some time with his grandparents 
and secured his education by teaching at intervals while he was 
going to college. He entered Harvard at the age of twenty-four where 
he studied for a year. In his journal he reported that in May 1815 he 
began "school keeping" in Tynesborough, Massachusetts and in Jan- 
uary recorded, "My salary amounted to $330. for the year. Town's 
money $100., Donation $133., Subscription $48. Tuition $330." On 
June 29, 1817 he wrote, "One week from today I hope to make a pub- 
lic profession of religion and to disclose to the world what God has 
done for me through the intercession of Christ." 7 As a result of con- 
tinued study, and after much soul searching he joined the church and, 
having decided to become a minister, entered Andover Theological 
Seminary that fall. 

On completing his theological education, Daniel Gould was 
ordained by the Presbytery of Londonderry in September 1820. His 
first ministry was as a home missionary on the frontier of Illinois and 
Missouri, under the auspices of the Connecticut Missionary Society. In 
late 1821 or early 1822, he came to North Carolina as a missionary of 
the North Carolina Missionary Society. At its September 3, 1822 meet- 
ing Concord Presbytery received him from the Presbytery of London- 
derry, and, as a member of the Presbytery, he became acquainted with 
the Presbyterians at Statesville. The Fourth Creek Congregation invit- 
ed him to become their pastor. He accepted the call and was installed 
as Fourth Creek's third resident minister. While here he also served as 
Stated Supply of the Tabor Church at Olin. Some of the members of 
Bethany had erected a building at Olin about 1800 because of the dis- 
tance between their homes and the meeting house. For years it was an 
outpost of Bethany until they were organized as a separate congre- 
gation in 1822 under the name Tabor Presbyterian Church. 

In Statesville on June 26, 1823 Mr. Gould married a young widow, 
Zilpha M. Torrence, a member of the prominent Simonton family. She 
had two daughters from her first marriage, and she and Daniel had 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 109 

four children of their own. Two of their sons, Thomas Scott, age ten, 
and Daniel, age five, died within a month of each other as victims of 
a scarlet fever epidemic in the winter of 1834. They are buried in the 
Fourth Creek Cemetery next to the place where their father would be 

After John Muschat had moved his boys school from the church 
property to the relocated courthouse building, Zilpha Gould started a 
school for young ladies in the dual purpose school room and session 
house vacated by Muschat. In the early 1800s it had become the cus- 
tom for congregations to erect a small building called a Session House, 
beside their one-room churches as a meeting room. As the earlier 
churches were not heated, the people dressed as warmly as they could 
and brought "foot warmers" made of metal holding hot coals or 
crockery filled with hot water. The session houses were provided with 
fireplaces, and a person could go in and be warmed before returning 
to the service. An example of a session house can be seen at the First 
Presbyterian Church of Salisbury, on the corner of their lot. It has been 
preserved while the congregation has had several buildings. 

Zilpha Gould conducted the first school for women in the commu- 
nity. The earlier Clio's Academy, Ebenezer and Muschat's Academy 
had been limited to male students. Zilpha's school at Fourth Creek 
was followed by the "Female Seminary in Statesville" held in the ses- 
sion house and conducted by the next pastor, the Rev. R. L. Caldwell. 
An academy continued to be held in the Session House under differ- 
ent teachers until Concord Presbytery decided to locate its new 
"Female Presbyterian College of Concord Presbytery" in Statesville in 
1853. The academy started by Mrs. Gould is considered to have been 
the first step in the movement for the education of women in 
Statesville, leading to the establishment of Concord Female College 
which became Mitchell College. 

Daniel Gould's zeal for the cause of distributing the Bible was a 
prominent feature of his ministry. His involvement in the Iredell 
County Bible Society in its early days has been noted above. This 
interest continued and extended from Iredell County to reach across 
the state. In 1828 he resigned as pastor of Fourth Creek Church and 
gave the rest of his life as a missionary and agent of the American 
Bible Society. Shortly after his death in a letter published in the Char- 
lotte Observer, May 31, 1834, the Rev. J. S. McCutcheon wrote: 

"He labored as an Agent of the American Bible Society, for this state, 
from December 1828 to May 1832. This was a cause that had always laid 


near his heart, and for the promotion of which he had exerted himself 
much previously to that time. He was one of the first to move in it in 
this State — and labored efficiently and successfully in the cause whilst 
his health would permit and even after his health became very feeble 
his influence was much felt in keeping alive an interest on the subject." 8 

This reference to Mr. Gould's health indicates the main reason that 
his pastorate at Fourth Creek lasted only five years. In a study pre- 
pared in 1989 by one of Mr. Gould's descendants, John Adam Farris 
of Sea Cliff, N. Y., he says that "In his youth, Daniel was said to have 
been feeble, of weak lungs, and had many difficulties." 9 His health was 
probably a factor in delaying the completion of his formal education 
until he was thirty-one. He kept a journal and, in the period of his time 
in Statesville, entries were infrequent but give evidence of "steadily 
failing health, which resulted in his having to quit preaching." 10 

Between 1828 and 1832 Gould was an agent of the American Bible 
Society in North Carolina. He undertook to carry out the objective of 
the Society, adopted at their meeting in Philadelphia in 1829 which he 
had attended, to supply every family in America with a Bible. For the 
last five years of his life, despite his health, he promoted this cause 
until his death from consumption on April 29, 1834. Daniel Gould's 
tombstone in the Fourth Creek Cemetery is inscribed: 

"Revd. Daniel Gould born November 12, 1789 at Nottingham West, N. H. 

He fell asleep in Christ April 29, 1834 

For nearly six years he preached with fidelity to the congregations of 
Fourth Creek and Tabor; and as the steady, indefatigable friend of the 
Bible Cause, he was in labours more abundant. Having sustained, with 
unabated zeal, the principal Benevolent Institutions of the age." 11 

The memorial marker was placed over his grave by the congregation 
of the Tabor Presbyterian Church, honoring the one who had been 
their first pastor. 

In 1829 the Fourth Creek congregation secured Robert L. Caldwell, 
a licentiate of Concord Presbytery as their Stated Supply. He was a son 
of Dr. Samuel L. Caldwell and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney Col- 
lege. After a year's service he was called by the church, ordained, and 
installed as the fourth pastor of Fourth Creek Church. In the archives 
at the Historical Foundation in Montreat N. C, the early records of the 
Session of the church are deposited. The oldest extant Session Book, 
including minutes of their meetings and showing receptions and dis- 
missals, dates from 1841, and the introductory sketch which opens 
that book reports what is for an historian a tragedy: 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 111 

"It is proper here to remark that in March 1830 the Session formed a 
Session Book which was the first that had been kept in our Church that 
from this time to 1838 was recorded carefully the affairs of the church 
containing many interesting facts and remarks. In the fall of that year 
our book was accidentally lost at or on the way to or from Presbytery at 
Mocksville in Davie County. This accident again threw us back on frail 
memory, except so far as the members of the Church, Children Bap- 
tized, dismissals, deaths which we have recorded in a separate book 
for convenience." 12 

Though the Session Book was lost, the sheets listing the roll were 
preserved. The first page of this register is headed: "March 1830 — 
When Robert L. Caldwell was employed as stated supply for 
Church." Then follows a listing of eighty names comprising the ear- 
liest extant roll of Fourth Creek Church. Other names were added as 
having joined the church during the period when Mr. Caldwell was 
the pastor. This register continued to be used and lists additions 
through 1846. On a separate page is given a list of "Coloured People 
admitted to church membership in Fourth Creek Church" with fifty- 
four names given. Most of these are listed with only a given name 
and are recorded as "servant of", "servant boy of", or "servant girl 
of" and then their owners names. Twenty-six different owners are 
named, most of them with only one "servant" as a member of Fourth 
Creek. The two largest slave owners were T. A. Allison with six 
named and John Young with nine. The first ten names are given 
without a reference to an owner. In the list is included Tena 
Lawrence who is recorded as a "free woman". It would be interest- 
ing to know more of this woman, who she was, the circumstances of 
her being manumitted, and what happened to her. Beside her name 
is written "Dismissed Feb. 1866," but this note has been marked out. 
A few former slaves did continue to be members of Fourth Creek 
Church after the Civil War, some are marked "dead" or "dismissed" 
in the same way other names in the roll book are noted, but for most 
there is no indication as to when they left the church. According to 
this roll book and the Annual Reports made by the Clerk of Session 
during the time that Mr. Caldwell was pastor, forty-five persons 
were added to the roll of the church. 

After Caldwell came to Statesville he took over the school for 
ladies meeting in the Session House, which had been started by Zil- 
pha Gould while her husband had been the pastor. He and his wife, 
Mary Ann Caldwell, were assisted by Eliza J. Baker who taught 


music. In his research for preparing his book on Iredell County, 
Homer M. Keever discovered an advertisement for the school which 
appeared in the Salisbury newspaper in November 1832. It was pre- 
senting an opportunity for interested gentlemen to open a board- 
ing house for the accommodation of "the large number of ladies" 
who attended the school. 13 

It was during the ministry of Robert Caldwell that the senior 
elder, Mussendine Matthews died. He will be remembered as the 
soldier accompanying Captain James Hall when the two of them 
happened upon the British dragoons and scared the larger body into 
flight by a bluff. The four original elders had been named in 1764 at 
the time of the church's organization. We do not have the date of the 
election and ordination of the next officers selected, Mussendine 
Matthews and John McLelland. We know that it was prior to the dis- 
pute on the revival which led to the resignation as pastor of Lewis 
Wilson in 1803, when McLelland was leader in the session of the 
anti-revival group against the position of "Little Gabriel" Stevenson. 
McLelland had died and was buried in Fourth Creek Cemetery in 
1827 during the pastorate of Daniel Gould. Matthews was one of the 
prominent men in Iredell County. At the time the county was orga- 
nized he had been elected as one of the first representatives in the 
House of Commons of the state legislature. He was re-elected term 
after term, serving from 1789 until 1802. From then until his death at 
age seventy-nine, he was quite active in his church and was a strong 
supporter of his pastors. 

Additional elders who had been selected as the original members 
of the session had died out: Andrew Allison and John Stevenson in 
1814, Joseph Davidson, A. S. Matthews and Thomas A. Allison in 
1823. In 1830 during the pastorate of Mr. Caldwell, after the death of 
Mussendine Matthews, two new elders were named: John Murdoch 
and Squire Lowry. (There is a question as to the spelling of the name 
of the second of these. One of the tombstones in the old cemetery 
marks the grave of Wm. Calvin Loury who died October 7, 1830. The 
stone lists him as "Son of Squier and Jane Loury") Keever reports 
that Lowry had a tailor shop at the southwest corner of Broad and 
Tradd and was a partner with Elam Lewis in a carriage shop next 
door to it. 14 

Apparently there was another elder whose name is not included 
on any of rolls of officers which have been printed in earlier publi- 
cations of the church. On the tombstone of Abraham Lowrance, who 

Stated Supplies and Two Brief Pastorates 113 

died in 1828 at the age of 82, the inscription says: "He was a member 
of, and, for many years a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. 
A good citizen and an honest man." 15 The historical sketch at the 
beginning of the 1841 Session Book does not include Lowrance's 
name in the chronicle of the appointment of elders from which ear- 
lier published lists were drawn. We do not know when he became a 
member of the Session, but it may have been fully reported in the 
earlier lost Session Book. We can only speculate, but his age may 
indicate that Lowrance had been named as an elder during the inter- 
val between 1764 and 1814 when Mussendine Matthews and John 
McLelland were named. 

The congregation was not to have their own pastor for very long. 
The Reverend Robert L. Caldwell was taken sick and died on 
November 17, 1832. He was only twenty-seven years old. His brief 
pastorate had been fruitful to the church, and his death came as a 
shock to the congregation. He was buried in the old cemetery where 
his grave is marked by a tombstone purchased by the congregation. 
The inscription says: 

"Robert L. Caldwell 

Died November 17, 1832 Aged 27 years 

Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Fourth Creek 

Far from affliction, toil, and care, The happy soul is fled; 

The breathless clay shall slumber here Among the silent dead. 

The gospel was his joy and song, E'en to his latest breath; 

The truth he had proclaimed so long Was his support in death. 

Dedicated by the congregation of Fourth Creek." 16 



Footnotes to Chapter XI 

1. 4th Creek Session Book 1841, pp 5-6 

2. W. H. Foote, op. cit. p. 437 

3. N. R. McGeachy, op. cit. p. 68 

4. Rockwell, E. F. "Reminiscences of Statesville" , typed copy of paper prepared for publication in 

The Landmark. 

5. Constitution of the Auxiliary Bible Society of Iredell County; 1822: Salisbury, Bingham & White, 

6. Document from the files of Rev. Charles E. Raynal. 

7. Abstract from "Diary & Letters of Daniel Gould", prepared by John Adam Farris "from original 

loaned by John Gould, Wichita Falls, Texas, 1942" in the Heritage Room. 

8. McCutcheon, J. S.; letter to the editor of "Charleston Observer" May 8, 1838. 

9. Unpublished study of Daniel Gould by John Adam Farris, Jan. 16, 1989. mimeographed copy 

from files of N. R. McGeachy, p. 1 

10. Ibid p. 3 

11. Tombstone in Fourth Creek Cemetery. 

12. Session Book 1841 op. cit. pp. 6 - 7 

13. Homer M. Keever, op. cit. p. 215 

14. Ibid, p. 159 

15. Tombstone in Fourth Creek Cemetery. 

16. Ibid. 

Rev. E. F. Rockwell D.D. 

Chapter Twelve 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 

In his paper on the history of Fourth Creek Church, Dr. Rockwell 
reports on a spiritual stirring which occurred at Fourth Creek a few 
months after the death of Mr. Caldwell. A protracted meeting was 
held here which had probably been planned for the spring of 1833 by 
the Session and Pastor before his death. The Rev. Mr. Levenworth, 
who was a teacher in Charlotte, preached thirty-one sermons in two 
weeks, and the church was greatly blessed. The old roll book shows 
forty-one persons who joined Fourth Creek Church that month. Eigh- 
teen baptisms are reported for that year including 6 slaves and the free 
woman Tina Lawrance. 

Rockwell tells of one memorable case of conversion which occurred 
during this meeting. He reported: 

"A man by the name of Tips, a Free Mason, had become offended at the 
Church sometime before, because the Lodge had not been permitted to 
hold a public meeting in their house of worship; he had expressed a 
wish that he might go to hell if he ever entered that Church again. 
While this meeting was in progress, he and some of his companions 
were gambling at the Court House till very late one night. As they came 
out they saw the lights in the Session House, and inquired: 'Haven't 
they broken up yet?' 'No, (says Tip) they are praying like hell.' At this 
remark he was suddenly struck under conviction for sin, and could find 
no relief, until the next day he conversed with one of the elders; and in 
a few days joined the Church. He maintained a consistent profession 
here for some years, when he went to the South and disappeared from 
view." 1 

From the time of Mr. Caldwell's death it was seven years until 
Fourth Creek Church secured another regular pastor. Between 1833 
and November 1840 the congregation was served by another series of 
supply ministers. Caldwell's pastorate had been a time of increase for 
the congregation, with the membership growing from 95 to 125. The 
growth continued for the first of the interim period, reaching 156 in 


1834, but then declined through the years when the church did not 
have a pastor. Membership did not surpass the number reported in 
1834 for the next fifteen years. 

The historical sketch at the beginning of the 1841 Session Book says: 
"After the death of Mr. Caldwell the congregation was well supplied 
with the preaching of the Gospel by Noted supply: The Rev. Mr. 
McCutcheon about two years, The Rev. Mr. Paisley about three years, 
The Rev. Jesse Rankin one year, The Rev. Mr. McPherson, a licentiate 
of Concord Presbytery about nine months." 2 

John S. McCutcheon came as a young man with only a couple of 
years of experience. A native of Augusta County, Virginia, he had been 
born in 1807. He received his ministerial education in Union Theo- 
logical Seminary at Hampden-Sydney where he began to study in the 
fall of 1828. On graduating in 1832, he was examined and licensed to 
preach by Lexington Presbytery. Two years later he came to North 
Carolina and was received as a licentiate by Orange Presbytery which 
ordained him as an evangelist in June 1833. 3 McCutcheon's time in 
Statesville is not known exactly. It may have been after he had sup- 
plied the Nutbush Church in Orange Presbytery (1833-34) and was 
transferred to Concord Presbytery which received him April 29, 1835. 
Later that year he was one of four ministers named to form the new 
Presbytery of Morganton, which lasted as a separate body for five 
years before reuniting with Concord. While in Morganton Presbytery 
McCutcheon was their stated Clerk and was active in support of the 
establishment of Davidson College by Concord Presbytery with the 
support of Morganton and Bethel Presbyteries. 

Concord Presbytery's rolls list him as "Domestic Missionary" 
between 1836 and 1839. In addition to Fourth Creek McCutcheon 
served other churches in the vicinity. His final ministry was as pastor 
of Bethany and Tabor Churches between 1846 and 1848. Mr. 
McGeachy closes his brief sketch of John McCutcheon: "The last of his 
ministerial services was an interesting revival of religion in his own 
charge, where in declining health he laboured beyond his strength; 
from which he retired to close his labors and died in Salem Virginia, 
June 24, 1848, in the forty-first year of his age." 4 

The next supply minister for Fourth Creek was the Reverend 
Samuel L. Paisley who came to Statesville after a ministry of thirty 
years in the bounds of Orange Presbytery. A native of Princeton, N. J., 
where he probably studied theology he had been born in 1773. Pais- 
ley was received under the care of Presbytery as a candidate for the 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 117 

ministry in June 1803 and licensed to preach the Gospel the following 
July. In 1808 Orange assigned him to itinerate in the "lower part of the 
state". On September 25, 1812 he was ordained and installed as the 
pastor of Bethel Church (then known as Cedar Creek). He later served 
as pastor of the Little River and Hico Churches until 1834. The next 
report we have of him was on April 7, 1836 at Davidson College when 
Concord Presbytery met with 12 ministers and 11 ruling elders "for 
dedicating the institution of God." Samuel Paisley was present and, as 
a member of Orange Presbytery, was invited "to sit as a correspond- 
ing member." 5 Previous to this time he may have begun supplying the 
Fourth Creek Church. 

Paisley transferred his membership to Concord Presbytery on June 
1, 1836 and served the Statesville church until he returned to Orange 
in the fall of 1838. The old Roll Book indicates that about 25 members 
were added to the church during the time Paisley was the supply min- 
ister. Shortly after returning to Orange, he moved to Fayetteville Pres- 
bytery where he spent the remaining years of his life. Between 1860 
and 1863 he is reported as infirm. We assume that he died at the age 
of ninety for his name does not appear in the 1864 reports. 

The next minister who supplied Fourth Creek Church was one who 
was already known by the leaders of the church for his earlier ser- 
vice in the area. The Reverend Jesse Rankin had been born in Guilford 
County in 1802. We do not have a record of where he received his edu- 
cation, but know that he was a teacher when he applied to Orange 
Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. Orange Presbytery 
approved his examination and licensed him to preach in October 1824. 
After a "trial of his gifts" Orange ordained him as an evangelist the 
following May. The first record we have of his ministry was when he 
was Stated Supply for the Harmony Church 1826-27 and for the Sal- 
isbury and Concord (town) Churches, 1827-31. Rankin's theological 
training had been carried out the old way, under the supervision of an 
older minister, the Rev. William McPheeters of Raleigh, but even after 
he was already ordained, he did go on to Union Seminary for contin- 
ued study in 1833 and 1834. His principal life work was as a teacher. 
In 1827 he was invited to move from Guilford County to become Prin- 
cipal of the Salisbury Academy. It was while he was engaged in this 
work that he supplied the Salisbury and Concord Churches. 

In the next years Rankin served several churches in Orange Pres- 
bytery, and then he and his family moved to Statesville in 1838 to con- 
duct a school. Presently available records do not show but it may have 


been the academy for women conducted in the Fourth Creek Church's 
session house and academy building. The Fourth Creek congrega- 
tion invited him to supply their pulpit and, according to the old 
record, he did so for a year. His service was found so acceptable that 
the church extended a call to him to become their pastor. The call was 
adopted in October 1838, and the presbytery seemed inclined to 
approve establishment of the relationship. However, the elected min- 
ister delayed in giving an answer. On March 9, 1839 Jesse Rankin was 
dismissed from Concord to return to Orange Presbytery. The govern- 
ing body took his request for this move to be a negative answer to the 
call from Fourth Creek. 

It is probable that this call of Mr. Rankin was influenced by earlier 
actions taken by the General Assembly and confirmed by the pres- 
bytery It had become common for congregations or fields of churches 
to secure a Stated Supply rather than undertaking the process or com- 
mitting themselves to the obligations involved in securing a regular 
pastor. The experience of Fourth Creek congregation during the first 
seventy-five years of their existence as an organized congregation had 
included only two long-term pastorates, James Hall for twelve years 
and Lewis Wilson for ten years. The brief pastorates of Daniel Gould 
and Robert Caldwell led some to question whether the more formal 
relationship was worth the trouble. The widespread use of this practice 
led the General Assembly of the Church in 1834 to adopt a resolution: 

"That it be enjoined upon all the Presbyteries to take such measures as 
they may deem expedient for forming the pastoral relation, in a regular 
manner, in all cases where the churches are now served by stated sup- 
plies unless there be special reasons to the contrary; of which reasons 
the Presbytery is required to judge, and to make their judgement of 
record on their minutes." 6 

Concord Presbytery voted to obey this injunction of the General 
Assembly and inquire of the churches and the ministers serving as 
stated supplies "why the pastoral relation should not be formed 
between them." At the fall meeting in 1837 a report was made that 
"the churches of Fourth Creek, Salisbury, Philadelphia and Ramah 
have only Stated Supplies." The clerk was instructed to contact these 
churches, sending a copy of the action of the General Assembly to 
their Sessions. This encouragement may have pushed Fourth Creek to 
call Mr. Rankin. 

John Erskine McPherson was the next preacher to supply Fourth 
Creek. He was a native of Iredell County, having grown up in the area 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 119 

of Centre Church, where he had made his profession of faith. Under 
the influence of Thomas Espy, Stated Supply of Centre, he came to the 
conviction that he should enter the ministry. He enrolled at Union 
Seminary in 1835 but had to withdraw because of bad health. He was 
nursed back to health by his mother and was back at the seminary for 
the year 1837-38. On March 23, 1838 Concord Presbytery licensed him, 
and he undertook his first work as a Domestic Missionary for the Pres- 
bytery in Macon County. After nine months he was transferred to 
Anson County where he ministered until 1841. At this time he was 
employed on a part-time basis as stated supply of Fourth Creek. After 
his ordination as an evangelist in August 1842, he was sent to western 
North Carolina. There in the mountains he continued a fruitful min- 
istry in Cherokee County until his death in 1860. 1 have not been able 
to find further information about his brief time serving the Statesville 

During the interval after the death of Mr. Caldwell there were two 
elections of Elders by the congregation. The original members of the 
session had died or moved away. When the Clerk wrote the history 
sketch at the start of the 1841 Session Book, he reported that before 
that date Elders John Stevenson, Andrew McKenzie, Alexander S. 
Matthews, Squire Lowrie and Adam L. Allison had "removed to the 
West or Southwest." Elders James Barr, John Murdock. Mussendine 
Matthews, John McClelland and Eli Ramsour had died and were 
buried in the Fourth Creek Cemetery. "Joseph Davidson became dis- 
satisfied with our church, withdrew and united with the Associated 
Reformed Church." 7 

The ones ordained to take their places on the Session were: in 1836 
Abner Houpe, Eli Ramsour and John Steele, in 1838 Adam M. Allison, 
David Montgomery, and James Montgomery. Both Eli Ramsour and 
Adam Allison had died before the 1841 record was written by Clerk of 
Session Thomas A. Allison. 

In connection with the selection of elders in 1838 it is noted: "We 
believe it proper here to remark that these last (David Montgomery 
and James Montgomery) were appointed in a wing of our congrega- 
tion where we have a separate place of worship about 7Vz miles from 
our Church in Statesville called New Union. It is all Fourth Creek and 
under the care of the Session of Fourth Creek." 8 

Fourth Creek congregation had been the mother church of Bethany 
to the north and Concord to the west in the 18th century and now con- 
tributed to the establishment of another congregation east of town. 


There had been work in the Cool Springs community from the years 
just following the American Revolution. James Gay had given land for 
the establishment of an interdenominational chapel which was known 
as Old Union. That work had faded away and in the 1830s Baptists, 
Methodists, and Presbyterians got together and formed New Union, 
otherwise known as Gay's Chapel. 

On March 23, 1838 Concord Presbytery received a petition from a 
group of the residents of that community asking to have a Presbyter- 
ian Church organized at New Union. The presbytery considered the 
request and approved it "provided that such a step be approved by 
the Sessions of the surrounding congregations: viz Fourth Creek, 
Third Creek, and Bethany. " Apparently there was some objection pos- 
sibly from some of the Baptists or Methodists who had come to think 
of New Union as being equally theirs and did not desire to become 
Presbyterian. In any case the matter does not seem to have been fol- 
lowed up by the Presbytery. It was about this time that James Mont- 
gomery and David Montgomery were chosen as members of the Ses- 
sion of Fourth Creek. The Presbyterians at New Union still desired 
their own Presbyterian congregation, and the next time they peti- 
tioned Presbytery their request was granted, and Fifth Creek Presby- 
terian Church was organized in 1846. In January of that year the two 
elders and ten members were dismissed from Fourth Creek to the new 
congregation: Elder David Montgomery and Elder James Mont- 
gomery, George Brim, Mrs. Jane Brim, Elizabeth Brim, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Gay, Archibald Montgomery, James Montgomery, Jr., Mrs. Rebekka 
Francis Montgomery, Mrs. Mary Rickert, James H. Templeton, and 
Mrs. Lydia Waddle. 

After the Presbyterians had withdrawn and the Methodists became 
a part of New Salem Methodist Church just after the Civil War, the 
Baptists who had been in the majority, organized New Union Baptist 
Church or Gay's Chapel which became a part of Cool Springs Baptist 
about 1913. 

In the fall of 1840 Fourth Creek Church secured a new supply min- 
ister who was to become one of the most prominent Presbyterian lead- 
ers in his generation. Dr. Elijah Frink Rockwell was a native of Con- 
necticut and a graduate of Yale College (class of 1834). After his 
freshman year he was short of funds and dropped out of school for a 
year to teach at an academy near his home. After he returned to Yale 
two of his professors learned that he might have to drop out of school 
again during his senior year. Unsolicited, they approached Rockwell 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 121 

and offered to let him use their names in securing whatever funds he 
needed to complete his degree. He accepted their offer and got a small 
loan which he paid back after graduation. That fall he accepted a posi- 
tion teaching in an academy in Monson, Massachusetts. Before the 
year was out he received several invitations to come as a teacher in 
other communities. He was ready to respond favorably to one of these 
from a school in Massachusetts and had written a letter of acceptance. 
On the way to the Post Office to mail it, he met the pastor of the 
church in Monson, who encouraged him to change his decision, and 
accept an offer from the Rev. Simeon Colton whom Rockwell had 
known as a fellow teacher in Monson and who had gone on to lead 
the Donaldson Academy in Fayetteville, N.C. 

Rockwell moved to Fayetteville in October 1835 and spent two 
years teaching there with Dr. Colton. While in college he had felt 
called to enter the ministry, and in North Carolina made the decision 
to direct his life in that path. Fayetteville Presbytery having received 
him as a candidate for the ministry, Rockwell enrolled in the Prince- 
ton Theological Seminary in the fall of 1837 and studied there for one 
year. He later reported that the climate at Princeton was too severe for 
him, so he transferred to Columbia Seminary which was then in 
Columbia, South Carolina. After completing his theological training, 
he went before Fayetteville Presbytery which examined, approved, 
and licensed him to preach the Gospel on June 4, 1839. 

In November 1840 he visited Statesville and was invited to come 
here as the Stated Supply of Fourth Creek Church. He and his wife, 
the former Margaret K. McNeill, moved here in December. Concord 
Presbytery received him as a licentiate and after a year's trial, 
approved him to be received as a full member of presbytery. The 
Fourth Creek Church extended him a call to become their minister, 
and Elijah Frink Rockwell was ordained and installed as the fifth Pas- 
tor of Fourth Creek Church on December 15, 1841. 

Rockwell was described in "Miss Minnie" Eliason's history of the 
church as "one of the most learned preachers of his time, an antiquar- 
ian and great theologian." 9 He wrote out each one of his sermons 
being careful in both content and organization. In later years the back 
of many of the pages of his manuscripts were used for taking history 
notes. He never published a book but wrote numerous articles which 
were published in newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. His 
writing covered natural history, theological and linquistic subjects. His 
historical research and writings on various churches and prominent 


persons and events of the Revolutionary War and the following years 
are a significant part of material available to help us know and under- 
stand our forefathers. An extensive collection of the papers of Dr. 
Rockwell is deposited in the archives at the Historical Foundation of 
the Department of History at Montreat, NC. 

The church building had been erected in 1779 and remained 
unceiled until 1812. For the next thirty years it remained virtually 
unchanged. In 1846 while Dr. Rockwell was the pastor an extensive 
refurbishing was done. The pulpit was moved from the side oppo- 
site the front door and a new one was located on the north end where 
a door had been. The seats, which had been arranged in a semicircle, 
were rearranged with all facing the front. Rockwell remembered some 
of the disapproval which this new arrangement called forth. In his 
1870 address on the history of the church he reports: "It is said that 
when it was first seated, each man furnished his own bench or pew; 
and that when the inside of the house was remodeled, some of the 
pew owners claimed the right to a seat precisely on the spot where 
their ancestor had sat, and which they themselves had occupied, as 
if they had a title to so much ground. When they died off, or moved 
away, or joined other denominations, they or their children still laid 
claim to the site of the old pew. 10 At the same time of this remodeling, 
the roof was recovered. Rockwell reports the total cost of the 1846 
work was $600.00. This renovation added another 18 years to the use- 
ful life of the congregation's second building. 

Mrs. Eliason quotes a description of the old log church written by 
Dr. T. E. Anderson: 

"The Old Fourth Creek Presbyterian Church was our chief architectur- 
al pride, beautifully located in a grove of splendid oak trees. To me, 
with its belfry and ample size, its interior graced by lofty pulpit and a 
gallery for the colored contingent, seats with doors at the end, rising 
amphitheaterlike, one slightly above the other, with individual owners, 
fulfilled my highest conceptions. But the overhead ceiling, with its curv- 
ing boards, a masterpiece of workmanship, held my gaze the longest 
and greatly relieved the tedium of the long drawn out sermon, as I sat 
with my feet not touching the floor in my grandmother's pew." 11 

Just after Rockwell had come to the community and before he was 
ordained as pastor of the church, a decision was made to enclose the 
church property with a fence. The rock wall around the old cemetery 
had been built in the 1790s. The people themselves had done the 
work, under direction of those who had become skilled in rock work 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 123 

building the pioneers' chimneys. Most of the rocks were field or sur- 
face stones gathered in the area. About 40 different kinds of stone are 
in the wall. Both members of the congregation and others from the 
neighborhood united in completing the task. Those who had wagons 
hauled the rock, others helped collect them, load and unload the wag- 
ons, moved the material to the place where they were needed as the 
work progressed, and helped stack them. The earliest part of the wall 
was the eastern end where the oldest graves were located. Later it was 
expanded to include the rest of the present cemetery where the origi- 
nal log church had been located. 

A congregational meeting on July 24, 1841 decided unanimously 
"to enclose the whole of the Church land and proceed on the fourth 
Monday in August to enclose the whole of the Church land and that 
two squares thereof should be run with a stone wall, two good gates 
to be erected, thence ... a wooden fence uniting with the grave yard 
which is already enclosed with a good stone wall completes the enclo- 
sure of the Church grounds of near 3 acres." 12 We have not been able 
to find any confirmation of what this fence was like or how long it 
lasted but the notice in the old Session Book following the notice on 
the congregational meeting declares, "Done accordingly." The descrip- 
tion seems to indicate that the fence ran right across what are now 
West End Avenue and Meeting Street. We do not have a date when 
those streets were opened, though at least a driveway must have 
passed between the church and the grave yard. 

Having the Session Roll and Minute Books available from the time 
of Dr. Rockwell's pastorate, we are able to learn more about the Pres- 
byterians in Statesville than we know of the earlier days. During his 
time here sixty-six persons, children and adults, are reported as hav- 
ing been baptized here. The Elders took their responsibility of spiri- 
tual oversight seriously. Time after time the Session had before it con- 
sideration of questions on the Christian life and witness of members 
of the church. Sometimes "reports" were discussed, sometimes the 
Pastor or a committee was appointed to confer with the accused, and, 
where the charges were more serious and seemed justified, the 
accused was cited to appear before the Session. In different cases 
charges made were for: "using profane and unbecoming language as 
a Christian", being "drunk and profane", "disputing", "intoxication 
and dancing", and failure to appear after being cited two times. Some 
of the accused were found not guilty. In one case an accuser was 
heard, but since the Bible stated that "in the mouth of two or three wit- 


nesses every word may be established" [Matthew 18:16] and only one 
had appeared, the member was found not guilty. Six months later the 
same man was cited to appear and since he did not, was suspended 
for six months. Where the accused was found guilty the penalties 
imposed might be a rebuke before the Session, suspension for a cer- 
tain period of time, or in extreme cases exclusion from office or from 
membership. The minutes report several cases where a suspended 
member came to the Session, expressed repentance and was restored. 

Another conflict reported in the Minutes occurred between Miss 
Tabitha Rankin, a teacher in the Statesville Female Academy held in 
the Presbyterian Session /School house, and the Session. In 1838-39 the 
Rev. Jesse Rankin had headed the school. Tabitha Rankin, either his 
sister or daughter, had assisted him and continued as teacher after 
Jesse Rankin moved to become pastor in Lexington. In the mid 1840s 
there was a disagreement concerning a leader the Session had secured 
to hold a "singing school". It is not clear whether her opposition was 
directed at the church's sponsorship of a singing school, as had 
become popular across the land in that era, or expressed conflict 
between Miss Rankin and the music leader selected by the Session. 
Her opposition continued and the Session wrote her a letter taking her 
to task for her "opposition to the singing school now in progress". In 
addition there was outrage at her "not dismissing your school at the 
hour appointed for preaching yesterday, and in the remarks made in 
school in relation to the matter." No answer was received from her, so 
a second letter was prepared and dispatched. She declined even to 
open the second letter but returned it with a note written on the back 
that she would "not receive any further communication from Mr. 
Rockwell or his pious session." At this the officers declared that the 
session house was closed to her and that she was forbidden to go on 
the grounds of the church for the purpose of teaching. 

We are unsure what happened to Tabitha Rankin. She may have 
continued to teach at a different location or may have withdrawn from 
the teaching profession. Apparently an academy was continued on the 
church's property for several more years, but we do not have a record 
of the teachers. The next reference to the subject found in the Session 
Minutes is dated December 28, 1851. The action reported is: "Ordered 
by the Session that the Session house for the present and until fur- 
ther ordered be no longer used for the purpose of teaching either as 
a Female academy or common school, there being a house erected in 
the town of Statesville expressly for a Female Academy." This new 

Pastor E. F. Rockwell's Ministry 125 

academy was to continue only until Concord Presbytery opened its 
school for girls in 1856. 

Another interesting event which occurred during Dr. Rockwell's 
pastorate was the donation made by the church to the Washington 
National Monument Society, which was raising funds for erection of 
an appropriate monument in honor of President George Washington 
in the nation's capitol. There were some members of the Society in the 
church, and they influenced the congregation's participation in 1849. 
The Washington Monument became an instantly recognizable land- 
mark of the District of Columbia though it was forty years between 
the start of the movement towards its erection and its dedication in 
1886. Present members of the Statesville First Presbyterian Church can 
remember with pride that their church was one of the early contribu- 
tors to the undertaking. 

After ten years as Pastor of Fourth Creek Church, Rockwell was 
called to the faculty of Davidson College. In October 1850 he 
undertook this new work. His gifts and breadth of knowledge were 
recognized by the college as demonstrated by the assignments he 
took at the college's appointment: Professor of Chemistry and Nat- 
ural Philosophy (1850-52), Professor of Chemistry and Geology 
(1852-54) and Professor of Latin and Modern History (1854-68). His 
change in responsibilities may have come at his own request con- 
sidering his great interest in history and ability in the classical lan- 
guages, or the college may have asked him to make the change, 
finding it easier to secure a person prepared in the sciences than in 
the classics. During his time at Davidson he published a large num- 
ber of papers on Iredell County and the surrounding area, on noted 
individuals from the area and events making up the history of the 
Carolina piedmont. 

While he was at Davidson his wife, Margaret McNeill Rockwell, 
known to the Fourth Creek congregation as their pastor's wife, died. 
He later married Elizabeth H. Browne of Davidson who, like his first 
wife, was from Fayetteville. He and Elizabeth had two sons, Douglass, 
who died when he was only two months old and was buried in the 
Fourth Creek Cemetery, and Huntington, who lived in the Fifth Creek 
Church community for some years after the death of his father. 

Though no longer pastor of Fourth Creek, E. F. Rockwell main- 
tained his interest in Statesville and Fourth Creek Church. After he left 
Davidson he moved back to Statesville and continued in this area until 
his death in 1888. Events from his later life will be noted below. 



Footnotes to Chapter XII 

1. E. F. Rockwell History ... ,op. cit., p. 19 

2. 4th Creek Session Book 1841, op. cit., p. 7 

3. General Catalog of Union Theological Seminary, 1976 p. 46 

4. N. R. McGeachy Confronted By Challenge, p. 145 

5. Ibid, p. 106 

6. Minutes of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church, 1834 

7. Session Book, op. cit., p. 10 

8. Ibid, p. 9 

9. Eliason, op. ci'r., p. 8 

10. E. F. Rockwell, History ... ,op. cit., p. 8 

11. Eliason, op. cit., p. 8 

12. Session Book, op. cit., p. 10 

Rev. P. H. Dalton 

Chapter Thirteen 

Pastorates of Hunter Dalton and 
Walter Pharr 

Fourth Creek Church had been deeply involved in support of 
education from its early days. James Hall had led the way by his 
involvement with Clio's Nursery, founding of the rotating 
library for the community, and later in his Academy of the Sciences 
and the training of candidates for the ministry. Following their pas- 
tor's leadership, the congregation came to think of education as a vital 
part of their responsibility. When the decision was made to construct 
a session house next to the church building, it was designated to be 
both for the Session and as a school house. 

As mentioned above, this property of the Presbyterian church was 
the site for the first academy of John Muschat and the one for young 
ladies taught by Zilpha Gould, beginning during her husband's pas- 
torate here. Pastor R. L. Caldwell and Mrs. Caldwell had the school for 
a time, and next the Reverend Jesse Rankin took charge of it in 1838. 
Then Tabitha Rankin and others taught in the session house until 1851 
when a new building for a school was built in Statesville. 

When Concord Presbytery had led the movement which resulted in 
the establishment of Davidson College, two of the ministers who 
served Fourth Creek as Stated Supplies, James McRee and John S. 
McCuthceon, were active in the movement. While Rockwell was Pas- 
tor here he was named as an agent for the Board of Trustees to solicit 
funds for construction of "an additional Professor's Home at David- 
son College." His subscription paper for this cause is found in the col- 
lection of his papers at the Historical Foundation in Montreat. All the 
donors on the list are from Iredell County, and the gifts range from 
$5.00 to $25.00. Rockwell raised $795.00 in this 1848 campaign and 
all pledges are marked "paid". His call to join the Davidson faculty 
came to one who had already shown his commitment to the Christian 
education of men. The next pastor of Fourth Creek was to serve the 
church during the expansion of opportunity for the education of 


Pleasant Hunter Dalton came to Fourth Creek Church in 1851. A 
native of Rockingham County, N.C., he was born March 4, 1821. After 
taking his preparatory work at Caldwell Institute, a school under the 
direction of Orange Presbytery, he entered the University of North 
Carolina in 1842. At his graduation he was recognized as ranking sec- 
ond in a class of forty-four. He took the first two years of his theolog- 
ical training at Princeton Theological Seminary and went to Union 
Theological Seminary in Hampden-Sydney for his senior year. Upon 
graduation in 1847 Dalton was licensed to preach by Orange Pres- 
bytery on April 17th. Shortly thereafter he moved into the bounds of 
Concord Presbytery where he served as Stated Supply of the Bethany 
and Tabor Churches. The two congregations called him and when he 
accepted, Concord Presbytery ordained and installed him in Decem- 
ber 1848. Not long after his ordination Dalton had difficulty with his 
health. The Presbytery released him from his pastorate and assigned 
him to go to Anson County "to ride through the country as a mis- 

In April 1851, six months after E. F. Rockwell had moved to 
Davidson, P. H. Dalton came to Statesville to supply the Fourth 
Creek and Bethesda churches. Bethesda had been organized by Con- 
cord Presbytery in 1848 in response to a petition signed by thirty per- 
sons in the Georgia Road area of Iredell County. The Session Minutes 
for April 1851 state: "Rev. Pleasant Dalton commenced preaching 
to us as Stated Supply, two thirds at Fourth Creek and one half at 
Bethesda." 1 (SIC) In September the congregation had as its guest 
preacher the Reverend Henry N. Pharr, a member of the Presbytery. 
The congregation was called to meet the following week for the pur- 
pose of electing a Pastor. Mr. Pharr presided and a vote was taken. 
Mr. Dalton received twenty-seven votes, and one vote was cast for 
James M. H. Adams, the long time pastor of Third Creek Church. 
The call promising an annual salary of $350.00 was forwarded to 
Presbytery, and at its fall meeting in Philadelphia Church on Octo- 
ber 3, 1851, Mr. Dalton indicated his acceptance of it. It was May 8th 
before a commission was assembled at Fourth Creek to install Dal- 
ton as the sixth pastor of the church. 

The congregation grew greatly during the six year pastorate of Mr. 
Dalton. The Session's annual report to Presbytery, dated the month in 
which he was installed as pastor, shows the total membership as 80. 
The report for the church year ending March 31, 1856 gives the mem- 
bership as 138. Session Minutes for September 1853 report: 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 129 

"The Revd Doer [William M.] Baker of Texas attended and preached 
in our Church for 10 days in succession and although the weather dur- 
ing part of the time was wet and cold, there was not only a good but 
large audience during the whole time from ours and the neighboring 
congregations. There was deep and pungent conviction of sin and we 
have good reason to believe that much good was done." 2 

The hope seems to have been fulfilled for when it came time to make 
the annual report for that year, thirty-three had been added on pro- 
fession of faith and six by certificate of transfer, bringing the total 
membership to 133. Eight are reported as "colored communicants". 

The Session continued to take seriously its responsibility for the 
spiritual welfare of the members and from time to time cited some of 
them to appear before the body. One case reported is that of Julius R. 
Simonton. He was accused of using profane language and making 
"improper remarks about the sermon" delivered by Mr. Dalton 
"against the practice of dancing and dancing parties." After a full 
investigation of the circumstances, the Session admonished Simonton 
and cautioned him to be more careful in the use of his tongue in the 

Probably most significant for the church and the future develop- 
ment of Statesville was the part played by Pleasant Dalton in the 
establishment of the college in the community. As early as 1848 mem- 
bers of the Presbytery began to discuss the possibility of founding a 
school for women to parallel the college for men which had been 
founded at Davidson ten years before. By 1853 sentiment towards 
forming such a school under the auspices of the Presbyterians had 
grown to the extent that a committee of five was named to study the 
proposal and make their recommendations to the presbytery. At the 
April 21, 1853 meeting of Concord Presbytery they made their report 
which recommended that the Presbytery do proceed to establish a 
school for the education of females in western North Carolina and 
that Statesville was the best place to erect the institution. The expe- 
rience of Fourth Creek Church in support of the school for young 
ladies founded by Zilpah Gould was undoubtedly a major factor in 
the committee's recommendation on locating the new school in 

The Presbytery gave strong approval to their committee's recom- 
mendations and resolved to "establish a Literary Institution for 
females within our bounds". They selected Statesville as the site and 
elected the first Board of Trustees "whose duty it shall be to receive 


money, select the site, erect suitable building, secure a charter, make 
by-laws, and secure funds for the endowment of the institution, and 
report semi-annually to the Presbytery." 3 Six ministers and six Elders 
were elected to the new Board of Trustees. The ministers included the 
pastor of Fourth Creek, P. H. Dalton, their former minister E. F. Rock- 
well, and W. W. Pharr who was to come to the Statesville church in 
1859. Three of the elder trustees were from the Fourth Creek Session: 
Thomas A. Allison, Samuel R. Bell, and T. H. McRorie. 

The Board of Trustees met as soon as was practical and selected the 
name of the new school to be Concord Presbyterian Female College. 
They then took steps to secure a charter from the Secretary of State of 
the State of North Carolina, submitting their application on June 16, 
1853. While waiting to receive the charter they proceeded to plan for 
the physical needs of their infant institution. Three acres of land were 
purchased at the west end of Broad Street, the location which still 
oversees the center of the town. Plans were proposed and as soon as 
the charter was approved the Board was ready to decide between two 
proposals for erection of the college building. The plan suggested by 
J. W. Conrad was approved, and a contract was signed with him for 
its construction at a cost of $25,000. The building committee approved 
an order to have 500,000 bricks made at $4.90 a thousand. The contract 
with Mr. Conrad was signed May 12, 1854 and construction began. 
The Board of Trustees appointed the Pastor of Fourth Creek to solicit 
funds for the erection of a proper building. Mr. Dalton had the strong 
support of his congregation and community as he undertook this chal- 
lenge in addition to his regular pastoral duties. Dr. Rockwell reports 
that P. H. Dalton "solicited and secured $21,000, which built the pre- 
sent edifice." His appeals reached across the presbytery and beyond. 

There was great interest in the community as the building pro- 
gressed. It was to be four stories in height, providing space for all 
instructional purposes as well as dormitory and boarding facilities for 
the students. On October 24, 1854 the cornerstone was laid with 
appropriate exercises, and the work proceeded rapidly. Brickwork 
on the walls of the first three stories had been completed in the fol- 
lowing spring, and the fourth floor was started when a sudden storm 
caused all plans to be changed. On the afternoon of June 9, 1855 a 
funeral procession was moving up Broad Street led by Mr. Dalton. All 
of a sudden a fierce storm struck causing the pall bearers to set down 
the coffin in the public square as all in the party ran for shelter. When 
the wind died down they returned and completed their solemn duty. 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 131 

The storm was so fierce that it smashed the almost completed but 
roofless building. Some of the lower walls still stood but the rest was 
a pile of rubble. 

As soon as possible the Trustees met to consider what they should 
do. The Board decided unanimously that they should proceed at once 
to clear the rubble and start the building again. An agreement was 
reached with the builder, Mr. Conrad, and they set out to endeavor 
to raise the funds to cover the increased expense necessary for rebuild- 
ing. A story made the rounds that some of the staunch Presbyterians 
decided that the storm had been a sign from God. The Lord had 
showed that He did not want a four story college building, three sto- 
ries were a plenty. It was suggested that this conviction caused the 
Board of Trustees to revise the plans and approve the three story 
building which was constructed. It seems more probable that the 
decrease in the size of the college building was caused by financial 
concerns. The funds available and the extra costs of rebuilding what 
was destroyed in the storm made it necessary to decrease the size of 
the building. 

While the construction continued the Board concentrated on select- 
ing the first president and faculty. The Rev. John Tinsley became the 
first President and Concord Presbyterian Female College opened on 
September 15, 1856 with one hundred-twenty-two students enrolled. 
At the April 1857 meeting of Presbytery a report was made that the 
institution was complete and in successful operation. At the time of 
the rebuilding a new contract had been made with Mr. Conrad to 
clean up the damage and complete the college building for $19,000. 
The Presbytery was told that $9,000. of this debt was still unpaid. 
Through the years that followed the college gave generations of stu- 
dents the opportunity for higher education at a fine level, but finan- 
cial difficulties were to plague the administrators over the next hun- 
dred years. 

Mr. Dalton's relationship with the college and particularly his suc- 
cess in raising money for its needs must have attracted the attention 
of other communities where schools were seeking leadership. In 1857 
he resigned from the pastorate of Fourth Creek to take charge of a 
"large female school in Madison". He was to serve in the ministry for 
another forty years in both Orange and Concord Presbyteries. He 
organized the High Point Presbyterian Church, was for a period an 
agent for Davidson College, and served as stated supply for churches 
until his death in 1896. 


The following years were ones of challenge, trial, and change for 
the people of Fourth Creek Church. In the next decade the congrega- 
tion was to erect a new building, and suffer through the hard years 
of the War Between the States. In 1865 the church was the spiritual 
refuge for the Governor of North Carolina when he was forced to flee 
from the invading troops of General Sherman. 

In the Spring of 1857 the Reverend Walter Wellington Pharr came 
to Statesville. The first notice of him in the official records of the 
church reports his being present at a meeting of the Session on April 
17, 1857. A native of Cabarras County, he had been educated at the 
University of North Carolina and took this theological training at 
Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. On graduating he returned 
to Concord Presbytery as Stated Supply and after ordination in Octo- 
ber 1844 was Pastor of the Poplar Tent Church in his home county. 
He had become known by the Fourth Creek people through his 13 
years service there and when Mr. Dalton left Statesville, he was 
called to become Pastor of Fourth Creek. The call was approved, he 
accepted, and on June 16, 1857 Concord Presbytery met at Fourth 
Creek Church to install him. 

It was during Pharr 's ministry here that the congregation erected 
their third building. The log church had been home of the Fourth 
Creek congregation for eighty years having been built in 1780, ceiled 
in 1812, and restored in 1846. In 1860 discussion began looking 
towards erection of a new building. Agreements were reached and 
plans were drawn for a brick church building ninety by fifty feet with 
balconies along both sides and across the front. It was erected at a cost 
of $8,000. in front of the old log building extending across what 
became Meeting Street and facing Broad Street. The building com- 
mittee was composed of Col. T. A. Allison, J. W. Stockton, J. F. Bell, 
Hugh Reynolds, R. F. Simonton and Dr. Y. S. Dean. 

The congregation met in the log church until their new brick church 
was dedicated, which was on Saturday, May 1, 1863 even though the 
tower was not completed. The Session Minutes for May 2, 1863 report: 

"On Saturday before the first Sabbath in May our new Church was 
solemnly dedicated to the worship of the Triune God. The Rev. E. F. 
Rockwell read portions of Scripture appropriate to the occasion and 
made some seasonable remarks as to the history of the Church. He also 
offered the first dedicatory prayer. The dedicatory sermon was 
preached by the Pastor from Psalm 28. The Rev. Stephen Frontis made 
some interesting statements upon the ministries of two of the former 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 133 

Pastors with whom he was personally acquainted, offered the closing 
prayer. These services were solemn and interesting causing those who 
participated in them to feel that it was good for them to be there." 4 

The failure to complete the tower on the first brick church may have 
been related to the shaking events which were occurring in the land at 
that time. The War Between the States had powerful impact upon the 
citizens of Statesville and Iredell County. A majority of the people 
from this part of North Carolina and to the west had been opposed 
to secession. However, when President Lincoln called for troops to 
"suppress the rebellion" after Fort Sumter was fired upon April 1861, 
sentiment changed radically. After the state's secession the people here 
joined in support of the Confederacy. Militia companies such as the 
Iredell Blues, under command of Captain A. K. Simonton, were called 
to duty to defend North Carolina. Hundreds of men left their homes 
to serve in the armies of the Southern Confederacy. As the needs of the 
military increased and with the limitations imposed by the Union 
blockade of Southern ports, trade and commerce suffered. Farmers 
took seriously their part in providing food and fibers to support Lee's 
Army. The women and children enlisted in the war effort with home 
gardens, sewing, and perhaps most important of all, writing letters to 
the troops. 

A list of men with relationship to Fourth Creek Church who 
served in the Confederate Army was prepared some years ago by 
Mrs. W. Bonner Knox with additions made by Louis A. Brown. The 
list is labeled "about the best that can be compiled but it is by no 
means considered full and complete." Fifty-seven names are listed, 
(see Appendix) In the Fourth Creek Cemetery twenty-eight graves 
are marked as those of Confederate soldiers, including eight who 
were killed in action and three who died while in service as a result 
of wounds or illness. 

The ones whose gravestones mark them as war casualties were: 
Captain Claudis A. Alexander (Chancellorsville 1863), Colonel Clin- 
ton M. Andrews (Nottoway Court House, Va. 1864), Captain J. B. 
Andrews (near Richmond 1862), Lieutenant A. B. Coffee (near 
Statesville 1865), John Andrew Kelly (Petersburg 1865), Captain 
William H. Sanford (Newbern March 4, 1862), Major A. K. Simonton 
(Seven Pines 1862), Lieutenant Joseph Caldwell (Seven Pines 1862). 
Also dying while in the army: Colonel J. A. Davidson (1863), William 
A. McClelland (1862) and John H. Vannoy (1862). In the north-west 
corner of the cemetery is a grave marked only "Unknown Confed- 


erate Soldier". Of course many who were killed were buried where 
they fell, but the bodies of these eleven were returned to Fourth 
Creek for burial. Notices of men from the congregation being killed 
are not always included in the Session's record, but the minutes for 
October 10, 1862 report: "Mr. Leonard Edmondson was killed at 
Sharpsburg. Capt. Absalom H. Simonton was killed in the Battle of 
Seven Pines, Capt. John Andrews died of wounds received in the bat- 
tles around Richmond." 

Statesville was out of the zone of conflict and did not feel the effect 
of invading troops until the very end of the war, but the church's 
involvement is shown in a number of references in the Session Min- 
utes. A special collection of $200.00 was received in September 1863 
and sent to the "Soldier's Tract Society". The annual report which cov- 
ers the last year of the war tells that $371.60 was forwarded "to send 
Bibles and Testaments to Soldiers" and $140.00 "to send Presbyterian 
Paper to Soldiers." Note was taken when Richard Allison Bailey "a 
Lieutenant in the Army appeared before the Session and after exami- 
nation he was received." He may have been a member of the Bailey 
family whose graves are found in the old cemetery, kin to the Allisons, 
or, perhaps, just a visitor on furlough expressing concern for his spir- 
itual well being as he prepared to return to the battle front. Special 
notice is given of a "Day of Fasting and Humiliation and Prayer on 
account of the state of the country" which was held on Friday, April 8, 
1864 with Pastor Pharr preaching. This was just before General Grant 
was given command of the Union Army and began the series of 
engagements which led to the siege of Petersburg. 

The Church grew from a membership of 173 to 243 during the 
years of the war. The number of "Coloured Communicants" report- 
ed as a part of these figures increased from 28 in 1860 to 44 at the 
close of the war. The balcony in the 1863 brick building had been 
reserved for "servants". Those making profession of faith or uniting 
with Fourth Creek on transfer from another church were received as 
full members. Even after the war some of the former slaves contin- 
ued on the rolls of the church, but in connection with the Session's 
annual report in April 1868 is noted "our coloured members that 
have ceased to attend our church and united with other organiza- 
tions are omitted." 

The occupation of Statesville by Federal troops occurred on April 
13 and 14, 1865, four days after the surrender of General Lee at Appo- 
mattox Court House and before news of the surrender had reached 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 135 

here. The cavalry troops under the command of General George 
Stoneman had moved into North Carolina after a raid on Lynchburg, 
Virginia and had captured Salisbury, freeing the large number of Fed- 
eral prisoners of war held there. From Salisbury 5,000 raiders moved 
west and occupied the undefended Statesville. They made camp on 
the college campus, and their presence in the vicinity of the young 
women for whom he was responsible caused great concern to the col- 
lege's president, the Rev. J. M. M. Caldwell. As far as we now know 
the students were unharmed, and the primary loss to the college was 
in destruction of fences torn down for firewood and in clearing out of 
the college's pantry. The objective of Stonemans raid was to destroy 
any goods or equipment intended for the Confederate army. Such cot- 
ton as they found was set on fire, resulting in the burning of the depot 
and adjoining sheds where goods were collected before being sent to 
the army. Almost every home was entered, and individuals stole 
whatever they desired. However, the reports say that the citizens were 
not abused. In two days the Yankees were gone, but they destroyed 
the railroad between Statesville and Salisbury during that time. 

The day that Stoneman was withdrawing, a second detachment of 
Federal calvary passed through town headed towards Taylorsville. 
North of town they encountered a squad of Confederate cavalrymen 
and engaged them. Lieutenant A. B. Coffee was killed, one of the last 
deaths in the war. His body was brought to Statesville, and he was 
buried in Fourth Creek Cemetery. His tombstone notes his death on 
April 15, 1865 "near Statesville" and identifies him as a member of 
"Flourney's Scouts, Furgeson's Brigade, Memphis, Term." 

Another event which occurred about this time marked Statesville's 
and Fourth Creek's involvement in the Civil War. The same day that 
Stoneman was raiding here, Federal General Sherman moved into 
North Carolina, after wreaking vengeance on South Carolina by burn- 
ing the state capital in Columbia. As Sherman neared Raleigh Gover- 
nor Zebulon B. Vance left the city and went to Greensboro to meet 
with General Joseph E. Johnston whose army was still in the field. 
Vance then came on to Statesville where his wife and family had 
found refuge. Mrs. Vance had rented a house on West Broad Street, a 
block from Fourth Creek Church, and Governor Vance was here when 
a detachment of three hundred cavalrymen rode into town and cap- 
tured him on May 13, 1865 as a rebel against the Government of the 
United States. He was held in prison in Raleigh for two months, but 
no charges were made against him. When released, he returned to his 


family in Statesville. At this time the Varices were a part of the con- 
gregation of Fourth Creek Church, and Governor Vance taught a Sun- 
day School class for boys during the period he lived here. 

The effects of inflation on the Confederacy are illustrated, and the 
difficulties encountered by the church following the war are shown in 
reports of the Church Treasurer over those years. The total expendi- 
tures as given for 1860 are $1,203.91. For 1865 he reported "Confed- 
erate Subscriptions for the year 1865 $4,170.00." In the first three 
months of the year he received $2,320.00 in Confederate money on 
those subscriptions. For the rest of the year, after United States money 
had become the medium of exchange, he reports "paid in currency for 
the year $160." At the end of the year the church had unpaid obliga- 
tions of $576.58. For the following year subscriptions dropped from 
$4,170.00 to $850.00. 

The Treasurer's Report for 1866 includes items that give us insights 
into the situation in the church in the days immediately following the 
war. References are given to the problem of how to "scale" subscrip- 
tions and debts which had been made in Confederate money and were 
due in the more valuable currency of the United States. Fourteen sub- 
scriptions unpaid for 1865 totaled $585. Obligations which the Trea- 
surer had been unable to pay included three for work on the Church 
property: "Due Henry Troutman for lumber $130.00, Due J. W. Leckie 
& Son for tin work $73.58; Due Robert N. Freeland for work on Base- 
ment $225.00 — the charges in Confederate money not yet scaled." 

One other debt is listed. The church had purchased some land "to 
enlarge the Grave Yard". At the time the report was made there was 
still owed to Mrs. Mary H. Moon "about $200.00". Concerning this he 
reports: "Subscription has been out since August and we have only 
got $62.00". At the bottom of the page he wrote, "I hope some one will 
advise ways and means by which these debts can be paid." 

Twice during the pastorate of Walter W. Pharr additional officers 
were selected by the congregation. The year after Pharr came to 
Statesville, James T. Bell, Erasmus B. Stimson and Joseph A. McLean 
were chosen to be Elders. In the year after the war three additional 
men were elected: John R. Adams, Thomas A. Bell and Robert Free- 
land. Thomas Bell died between the time he was elected and the date 
set for his ordination. 

The history of the church written at the first of the 1841 Session Book 
includes the names of all those who had served as Elders from the time 
of the organization of the congregation but does not include reference 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 137 

to any persons chosen to the office of Deacon. Session Minutes tell of 
the election of Marshall Bell, Jacob Davis, H. B. Reese, Alexander Stock- 
ton and Dr. W. S. Tate on April 23, 1858. It may be that there were ear- 
lier Deacons reported in the pre-1841 book which was lost, but as far 
as we have record, these were the first men elected to be Deacons at 
Fourth Creek. J. S. Rickert, who is listed as a Deacon in the Session's 
1863 Annual Report, may have been elected before 1841 or chosen in 
an election of which we have no record. At the time of the 1867 election 
of Elders, Deacons were also selected: John A. Bowles, Harvey Morri- 
son, Charles Summers, and David E. Thompson. 

After the surrender of the last southern army, states of the former 
Confederacy entered the extremely difficult period known as the Recon- 
struction. Both national and state governments were dissolved and 
money was worthless. Banks, businesses and individuals who had 
invested in Confederate bonds were in a quandary at the repudiation of 
all debts of the state. After the arrest of Governor Vance, President 
Andrew Johnson named William W. Holden of Raleigh, a leader of the 
peace movement, as Provisional Governor. A convention was held in 
Raleigh, but North Carolina and the other southern states were treated 
as occupied territory. Two new Senators were elected, and though they 
were pro-union men, the Senate refused to seat them when they arrived 
in Washington. The physical destruction which had occurred through 
most of the South did not reach Statesville other than the damage by 
Stoneman's raiders in the last days of the war. Nevertheless the com- 
munity faced the result of being a defeated people in every other way. 

Concord Presbytery had been scheduled to hold its Spring 1865 
meeting in Statesville, but the presence of Stoneman's cavalry in the 
area of the presbytery caused that meeting to be cancelled. It was Sep- 
tember before the body convened at Fourth Creek Church. At this 
meeting a strong statement was adopted on the Church's continuing 
responsibility to the now freed slaves. It declared: "Our Pastors and 
Sessions be exhorted to use all practical measures for the spiritual wel- 
fare of such . . . instructing them as to their obligations to the Church- 
es with which they are connected . . . exercising all allowable forbear- 
ance (sic) and kindness towards such irregularities in their 
deportment as may have their origin in the excitement and confusion 
into which their minds are thrown by the great and sudden change in 
their condition." 6 

The matter which caused the greatest controversy in the Presbytery 
was the question of what denominational relationship should be estab- 


lished now that the Confederate States no longer existed. There 
appears to have been little sentiment favoring return to the pre-war 
association with the Presbyterians in the North. Resolutions were 
passed by Concord Presbytery at its September 1865 meeting at Fourth 
Creek Church calling for naming of Commissioners "to constitute and 
attend a meeting of the General Assembly of the Southern Presbyter- 
ian Church, to be held in the town of Macon, Ga., May 1866". A second 
resolution "respectfully requested to change our denominational title 
to The Presbyterian Church of the Southern States." Elder E. B. Stim- 
son of Fourth Creek, six other Elders and two of the minister members 
of presbytery entered a formal protest to the adoption of these resolu- 
tions "Because we believe said action to be hasty and premature" and 
"Because we fear the agitation of this question at the present time will 
produce disturbance and result in consequences disastrous to the peace 
and prosperity of the Churches." The protest was printed in the Min- 
utes and with it a response to the charges adopted by the Presbytery. 
Since Mr. Pharr did not sign the protest, we may assume that he sup- 
ported the position taken by the majority. 

Sentiment for the continuation of a Southern Assembly appears to 
have been general through the presbyteries of what had been the Pres- 
byterian Church in the Confederate States of America. Having had the 
scheduled May 1865 meeting of their General Assembly cancelled 
because of the turmoil of the close of the war, the commissioners from 
the presbyteries met on December 4, 1865 at Macon, Georgia. Decid- 
ing to maintain their separate existence, they adopted the name Pres- 
byterian Church in the United States. It was to be one hundred-eigh- 
teen years before this body went out of existence at the establishment 
of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

Fourth Creek Church was helped to live through these tragic years 
of Reconstruction by the devoted ministry of Walter Pharr. He had 
been their pastor through the Civil War and continued to serve the 
congregation for the first four years of the recovery. In his 1870 histo- 
ry of Fourth Creek E. F. Rockwell says of Pharr that he preached "the 
word with diligence and power, till the Spring of 1869 when he went 
to another charge in Mecklenburg county." 7 Dr. Rockwell had the 
opportunity to make this evaluation of Pharr, for in the Spring of 1868 
he had resigned his professorship at Davidson and moved back to 
Statesville to become president of Statesville Presbyterian Female Col- 
lege. Mrs. Rockwell was received into the membership of Fourth 
Creek Church by transfer from Davidson, and they worshipped here 

Hunter Dalton and Walter Pharr 


with the young ladies of the College on Sabbaths when he was not 
preaching at a vacant pulpit in the Presbytery or out seeking financial 
support for the school. 

After a pastorate of twelve years Mr. Pharr resigned as Pastor of 
Fourth Creek in order to accept a call to the Mallard Creek Presbyter- 
ian Church in Mecklenburg County which at the time of his transfer, 
was still a part of Concord Presbytery. He was Pastor of Mallard Creek 
for fourteen years until he was forced to resign because of his health. 
He died in 1886 at the age of seventy-three. When Pharr left 
Statesville, the Session of Fourth Creek obtained the service of Dr. 
Rockwell to supply their pulpit until the church could secure anoth- 
er Pastor. 

Footnotes to Chapter XIII 

1. Session Book op. cit. Minutes April 1851 

2. Ibid. Minutes September 1853 

3. Minutes of Concord Presbytery — April 23, 1853 

4. Session Book op. cit. — Minutes May 2, 1863 

5. Ibid, — Minutes October 10, 1862 

6. N. R. McGeachy op. cit. — p. 266 

7. E. F. Rockwell History op. cit. p. 55 

The Reverend Walter W. Pharr 



Second brick church, built in 1870 from materials from the pre- 
ceeding one. 

Chapter Fourteen 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 

From the time of its construction and dedication there had been 
concern in the minds of people of the congregation as to the safe- 
ty of the 1863 brick building. The roof's attachment to the walls 
was questioned from the very first. The security of the balcony, how it 
was attached to the walls, and its weight bearing capacity also caused 
discomfort. The unfinished spire may have been related to the scarci- 
ty of materials during the war or to the shortage of monetary sup- 
port for its completion due to dissatisfaction with the construction. 
Before Mr. Pharr left there had been talk about building a more satis- 
factory church. 

Matters came to a head when news arrived of a calamity which 
occurred on April 27, 1870 in Richmond. The Virginia Capital Build- 
ing housed the governmental and judicial bodies of state government 
and had been the seat for the Confederate Congress. On that day an 
unusually large crowd was gathered in the second floor courtroom of 
the Supreme Court of Appeals to hear a case. The floor collapsed, 
falling into the old Assembly room below and killing 62 persons and 
injuring over 250. 

In the Session Minutes is recorded: 

"Our Church building having been declared unsafe by some experi- 
enced architects & the calamity at Richmond, Va taken in connection 
with these expressed opinions caused such apprehensions in the 
minds of a majority of the congregation the building was abandoned 
and a contract made for a new one on the same ground of a former 
building. R. F. Simonton & Col. S. A. Sharpe took the contract for the 
material composing the abandoned building and Fifteen hundred dol- 
lars in money. The Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
South, of this place, very generously tendered their Church to the use 
of the congregation while their church was being built, they the 
Methodist friends having preaching but once a month. The forego- 
ing offer was accepted." 1 


Toward the end of the 1841 Session Book is found a write-up of 
more of the occurrences in the Church written about 1870. It reports 
"Owing to the feeble health and pressing cares with regard to his tem- 
poral affairs of our venerable Clerk of Session (Thomas A. Allison) 
he has omited (sic) the regular record of Sessional Meetings & action. 
The Session supposing the usual records were being made & but 
recently becoming aware of the fact that they were neglected, have 
now no means of fixing the precise date or doings of the Session and 
congregation." 2 There follows several pages probably written by E. B. 
Stimson who was selected as "Clerk pro tern" and then as Clerk in 
1876. It seems probable that the gap in the Sessional Record came to 
their attention after Mr. Pharr left. The congregation elected and Pres- 
bytery named E. F. Rockwell to be their Stated Supply until they 
secured a new pastor. Dr. Rockwell's love for this church, his partic- 
ular interest in history, and concern that the affairs of the Session 
should be in accord with Presbyterian procedure, probably led to his 
looking over the Sessional Minutes for the period since he had moved 
to Davidson and to his discovering the weaknesses in the later 
records. Colonel Thomas A. Allison lived until 1879, but the Session 
chose E. B. Stimson as their new Clerk. He made an effort to bring the 
records up to date, writing the summary paragraphs which close the 
Session Minute Book used since 1841. Included were references to Mr. 
Pharr's leaving, the interim supply by Dr. Rockwell, the arrival of 
their next pastor, William A. Wood, and the decision to replace the first 
brick church. 

E. F. Rockwell's being in Statesville and available to supply Fourth 
Creek was most fortunate for the church. In 1868 he resigned his pro- 
fessorship at Davidson in order to become the President of Concord 
Female Presbyterian College. He had been a sponsor of the College 
since presbytery named the first trustees in 1853 and continued as a 
member of the Board of Trustees through the whole period. During 
the first twelve years of its life the school had four different presidents: 
John D. Tinsley, E. W. Faucette, C. S. Millen and J. M. M. Caldwell. 
When Caldwell resigned the Trustees persuaded Rockwell to return 
to Statesville and undertake the responsibility. It was an unfortunate 
time for him to come to this position. The aftermath of the Civil War 
suppressed the whole area. Enrollment was low and money was very 
scarce. The churches of the Presbytery were all struggling to meet their 
own expenses and had little to give to benevolence causes. A small 
college in the south, especially one for women, did not attract support 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 143 

from possible donors beyond the bounds of the sponsoring body. 
After two years as president Rockwell resigned effective at the close 
of the school year 1869-70, believing that he could not accomplish his 
goal of getting the college on a sound basis both educationally and 
financially. For about a year he taught at the Statesville Academy for 
Boys while supplying vacant churches in the area. After 1872 he again 
devoted his full time to preaching and over the next twelve years 
served terms as Stated Supply to Bethesda, Third Creek, Unity, Fifth 
Creek, Bethany, and Tabor Churches. 

In the late Spring of 1868 Concord Presbytery approved the request 
of Walter W. Pharr that he be dismissed from his relationship with the 
Fourth Creek Church and E. F. Rockwell began his service as Stated 
Supply. By the Fall of 1869 the congregation had decided to extend a 
call to become their pastor to the Rev. William Andrew Wood who was 
Stated Supply of Third Creek and Unity Churches in Rowan County. 
He had preached in Statesville in September and a call was approved 
for two thirds of his time at a salary of $600.00. Wood indicated his 
willingness to accept. The proposal was for Fourth Creek to share his 
time with the Bethesda Church. The fall meeting of Concord Pres- 
bytery was held at Castanea Grove Church and five members (Dr. 
Hugh Kelly, William M. Murdock, W. H. Morrison, J. S. Rickert, and 
D. C. Thompson) were appointed by the congregation to accompany 
the Session's commissioners J. R. Adams and R. L. Freeland in prose- 
cuting the call. There was some irregularity in the call, and it was 
returned to the church for correction before being placed in the hands 
of Mr. Wood. Perhaps the defect had to do with some conflict between 
Bethesda Church's call and that from Fourth Creek. In any case the 
call was returned to the Session for correction. Since the desire of both 
congregation and minister was so clear and Wood was already a 
member of the Presbytery, he was allowed to move to Statesville and 
to begin work. In October the Synod of North Carolina met at Mor- 
ganton and at that time Col. T. A. Allison and E. B. Stimson carried the 
corrected call. Concord Presbytery met at instruction of the Synod, 
approved the call, and Mr. Wood accepted it. 

William A. Wood was to be Pastor of Fourth Creek for thirty years 
and one of the most respected ministers of the Presbyterian Church 
during the last half of the nineteenth century. Of him Dr. Charles E. 
Raynal wrote: "In a quiet old town that had grown up around his 
church he lived, labored, and wielded his influence for good. More 
than any other man in his community he represented its traditions and 


convictions . . . Bearing the impress of his church, he moulded his 
community to bear the same stamp. During a long pastorate he exer- 
cised his benign powers until the thought and custom of his town were 
conformed to the rule of faith by which he lived." 2 At another place Dr. 
Raynal described him as "scholarly, gentle, fervent, he was a preacher 
of great power, and as a pastor he was every man's friend. He became 
the spiritual father of the whole community and much of the civil and 
cultural character of Statesville must be regarded as his ministry." 3 

Dr. Wood was born and had grown up in the Third Creek commu- 
nity. His father was William N. Wood, an Elder of the Third Creek 
Church, and his mother was Margaret Knox. He had ancestoral ties to 
the family of James Hall, Fourth Creek's first pastor. As a lad he began 
his education in an "old field" school in that area and then went to 
school under the celebrated Peter Stewart Ney, believed by many to 
have been Napoleon's famous Marshall Ney. His preparation for col- 
lege was completed at Ebenezer Academy at Bethany Church. Enter- 
ing Davidson College in 1851, he graduated in 1854 and then entered 
theological studies at Princeton. For his third year of seminary he 
transfered to Columbia, which was still in South Carolina, where he 
could study under the noted southern theologian Dr. James. 
H. Thornwell. After graduation he went to Scotland for a year of 
study at the Free Church Seminary of Edinburgh. Hampden Sydney 
gave him an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1879. 

When he returned to this country he was licensed to preach and 
began to serve the Bethany, Fifth Creek and Tabor Churches. He was 
ordained and installed as pastor of the three churches on July 23, 1859. 
In 1860 he accepted a call from the Washington, N. C. Presbyterian 
Church in Orange Presbytery. Wood's pastorate there was cut short, 
and the congregation scattered by the approach of Federal troops. The 
cause of his native state and the spiritual welfare of the men who had 
left homes and family ties to serve in the Confederate army led him to 
volunteer as a chaplain. His brother James was a Lieutenant Colonel 
of the Fourth North Carolina Regiment. He became their chaplain and 
served with the troops for two years. However, military service was 
too hard on his health, and he resigned from the army and returned to 
civilian practice of his ministry. Two years in the North Carolina 
mountains restored his health while he was Stated Supply of the 
Asheville Church. He then returned to Rowan County where he sup- 
plied the Third Creek and Unity Churches from 1865 until he accept- 
ed the call from the Fourth Creek congregation. 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 145 

On Sunday, November 20, 1870 the commission named by Pres- 
bytery installed William Andrew Wood as Pastor of Fourth Creek 
Church. E. F. Rockwell preached the sermon, and Pastor Jethro Rum- 
ple from the Salisbury Church delivered the charge to the congrega- 
tion. The charge to the Pastor was given by the Rev. William W. Pharr 
of Centre Church. There were two W. W. Pharrs who were members 
of Concord Presbytery at the same time, Walter W. Pharr who had 
been Pastor of Fourth Creek until 1868 and William W. Pharr, Pastor 
of Centre Church for fifty years after 1858. Sometimes the records of 
Presbytery refer simply to W. W. Pharr so there is some confusion as 
to which of the two ministers is meant. 

At that time Fourth Creek Church did not own a manse in which 
their minister could live. With the help of the officers Mr. Wood made 
arrangements to secure a home. In February 1870 he purchased prop- 
erty and a house on Walnut Street behind the present Methodist 
Church from the estate of John McCorkle. This was to be his family's 
home until after his death. 

It was also during this year as the stated supply before his installa- 
tion that the second brick church was built. Among the old papers in 
the church safe is a copy of the contract to erect the 1870 building. 
Signed by six Deacons, the statement agrees to pay R. F. Simonton and 
S. A. Sharpe $1,200. and give them a deed "for that portion of land 
lying east of a street which is proposed to be opened running from 
Main Street and to the Grace Street Road as soon as the Church is com- 
pleted." The proposed street became what we know as Meeting Street 
and was constructed right through the site of the first brick building. 
The property transferred to Simonton and Sharpe was that across the 
street to the front of the present church. Any surplus materials not 
used in construction of the new building were to go to the builders 
"for their own use." 

Specifications for the new building are spelled out. It was to mea- 
sure forty feet by seventy feet with a vestibule ten by forty. There were 
four windows on each side of the Church room and two on the front. 
The "one end gallery of proper width" was to be reached by two 
inside stairways from the vestibule. Care was taken in stating require- 
ments for the construction of foundation, walls and roof to assure that 
difficulties in the 1863 building would not be repeated. "There is to be 
a plain neat Belfry either of Brick or Wood with a good roof . . . The 
pulpit and seats of the old building to be altered to suit new building." 
Those signing the agreement on behalf of the Church were: C. L. Sum- 


mers, J. S. Rickert, W. H. Morrison, Joe W. Stockton, D. C. Thompson, 
and A. A. Davis. 

A month after W. A. Wood's installation as Pastor the new building 
was completed. He had been listed on Concord Presbytery's 1870 
report to the Synod of North Carolina as "pastor elect". Now installed, 
he presided at three services marking the dedication. The first ser- 
vice was held on Friday evening, December 30, 1870, a service of 
praise, prayer and thanksgiving. Saturday, December 31, was the day 
of dedication. After hymn and scripture Pastor W. A. Wood led the 
dedicatory prayer. Dr. E. F. Rockwell delivered an historical address: 
"History of Fourth Creek Church". This masterful study traced the 
story of the pioneers settlement and first gatherings for worship at 
"preaching stands". It also listed the ministers who had served here, 
and the three earlier buildings which preceded the one dedicated that 
day. After what is described as a "short recess" the congregation 
reassembled to hear a sermon by the Rev. Charles Phillips, D.D., a pro- 
fessor at Davidson College. On Sunday, the first day of 1871, the sacra- 
ment of Holy Communion was observed to complete the dedicatory 

The combination of having their new building and a popular min- 
ister attracted others in the community who had been drawn to the 
Presbyterians during the time they had worshipped at the Methodist 
Church. This called forth new vitality in the congregation. In the next 
month the congregation decided to secure W. A. Wood's service full 
time. A canvass was made of members of the church, and when it was 
complete they had the financial support to expand their call to him 
from two thirds to whole time. The salary was raised from $600.00 to 
$675.00 per year. Membership grew substantially. In 1869 there had 
been one hundred seventeen members on the roll. By the time the 
April 1873 annual report was made this had grown to one hundred 
fifty-seven, an increase of one third. In spite of the financial difficul- 
ties felt by all the people during the years of Reconstruction, giving to 
benevolences had increased from $48.00 in the year the war closed to 
$240.00 for the year covered in the 1873 report. 

Session Minutes for October 1, 1871 report: "A certificate of dismis- 
sion was granted to Easter, formerly slave of Mrs. Lowrance, the wife 
of Lock Hall, to connect herself with the African Presbyterian Church 
in this place." When they obtained freedom most of the former slaves 
withdrew from the churches of their former masters and organized 
separate congregations of their own, some under white ministers for 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 147 

a time, but all soon obtaining clergymen of their own race. The with- 
drawal from Fourth Creek before April 1868 was noted above. Anoth- 
er member, Sarah Stevenson, was transferred to the "African Presby- 
terian Church, Statesville" a year later. This church was one started by 
Amos D. Billingsley who came from Ohio. He had been a chaplain in 
the Union Army and, while stationed in North Carolina, had become 
greatly concerned with the condition of the freed slaves. Remember- 
ing this after the close of the war he decided to return to the South and 
give the rest of his life ministering to the freedmen. He settled on 
Statesville as the place he would work. Billingsley had considerable 
personal wealth and used it to help organize four congregations of 
black Presbyterians in the county for which he served as their first 
pastor. The congregation in Statesville was called the Second Presby- 
terian Church, and Billingsley built them a church on Broad Street in 
the block east of Tradd Street. He was their minister until 1884 when 
they forced him out that they might have a pastor of their own race. 
Billingsley continued to serve two other congregations of black Pres- 
byterians in the county, Logan near Scotts and Freedom which had 
come out of the Bethany Church. The black Presbyterians under his 
influence had associated themselves with Yadkin Presbytery of the 
Northern Presbyterian Church. Thus both denominations were repre- 
sented in Statesville until the 1983 reunion established the Presbyter- 
ian Church (USA). 

The old book being full, the Session secured a new register into 
which to record their minutes. After an introductory paragraph this 
book begins with the minutes of the meeting on October 1, 1871. Since 
the pre-1841 book was lost, for the purpose of this study I am num- 
bering the 1841 book as # I, this 1871 book as # II and the following 
books in subsequent order. 

For one hundred-twenty years the name of this congregation had 
been Fourth Creek Presbyterian Church, this identification having pre- 
ceded the naming of the town which grew up around it. For some 
years the records of the Synod had referred to it as the Statesville 
Church though the Fourth Creek name was consistently used in the 
records of Concord Presbytery. In later lists it was sometimes listed as 
"Fourth Creek (Statesville) or Statesville (Fourth Creek) though loca- 
tions for Third Creek and Fifth Creek Churches were not given in the 
same lists. On April 4, 1875 a congregational meeting adopted a reso- 
lution petitioning the Presbytery of Concord "to change the name of 
our church from Fourth Creek to Statesville." 5 Later that month Pres- 


bytery approved the change, and until 1896 Statesville Presbyterian 
Church was the official name though in the minds of older members 
it was still thought of as Fourth Creek. 

The years of Dr. Wood's ministry here were a time of growth for 
the community and the church. The membership when he began in 
1869 was one hundred seventeen. At the close of his thirty year min- 
istry, it had grown to three hundred seventy-one, not counting the 
two hundred fifty-six who had been members under his ministry 
and later transferred to other churches and the one hundred thirty- 
one who were lost by death. During his pastorate here Wood had 
ministered to 758 persons who were members of his congregation in 
addition to his outreach in the community to those who did not have 
a church home. 

The growth of the Presbyterian congregation in Statesville was par- 
ticularly notable because of the expansion by other denominations in 
the community in these years. When the Presbyterians held services 
in the Mt. Zion Methodist Church while their 1863 building was 
replaced, Methodists and Presbyterians were the only groups that had 
church buildings in Statesville though several of the new black con- 
gregations had established places of worship. While W. A. Wood was 
here congregations were organized and, when they were able, build- 
ings erected in turn by the Associate Reformed Presbyterians (1875), 
the Episcopal Church (1876), the Baptists (1880), Congregation 
Emmanuel for the Jewish residents (1891), and then the Lutherans 
(1898) and the Roman Catholics (1898). 

One of the most interesting receptions of members occurred on 
March 23, 1881. Pasted in the Session Minute Book is a slip of paper 
two by eight inches on which is written in the script of the Siamese 
language a certificate of transfer of church membership of a baptized 
child from a Presbyterian Church in northern Siam (Thailand).. The 
writing was totally unreadable to Dr. Wood, the Clerk, or any other 
member of the Session. They had a translation made by Mrs. Sophia 
B. McGilvary whom they list as "Mother of the child", copied the 
translation in their Minutes and attached "the original certificate." The 
translation says: 

"In the year of the Christian era 1881, the month of January, on the sec- 
ond day of the month the Session of the Presbyterian Church of Chi- 
angmai meeting for consultation, decided to transfer Norwood Aspin 
well Hedge McGilvary who was baptized in this church to the care of 
the Session of the Presbyterian Church in Statesville, North Carolina. 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 149 

They are requested to be faithful in instruction and admonition. 

Nan Chai 

Clerk of Session of the Presbyterian 

Church in Chaingmai" 

During Dr. Wood's pastorate the custom grew of receiving new 
members at the time of the churches observance of the Lord's Supper. 
The Session did act to receive members on certificate from other 
churches as they came, but their Minutes show most new members, 
particularly those coming to be examined on making a confession of 
faith, were received at Session Meetings held in connection with spe- 
cial biannual services of "Preparation for Communion" which were 
held during the week before the sacrament was served on Sunday. A 
visiting minister usually preached at these services and assisted Dr. 
Wood in conducting the Communion Service. The Session would 
meet each evening to receive members. The Minutes show that most 
of the time no other business was conducted in which case they met 
for prayer with special concern for individual prospective members 
and for ones they felt had slipped away from their confessional vows. 

In fulfilling the responsibility they felt for the spiritual welfare of 
the flock, the Session repeatedly had under consideration the actions 
of various members accused of "walking disorderly". The Minutes 
report the situations usually came to their attention on the basis of 

"rumors affecting the Christian witness of ." Sometimes 

the pastor, an elder or a committee of two would be asked to confer 
with the accused and report back. If the situation seemed to warrant 
it the offending ones were cited to appear before the Session. In most 
cases the visit and warning were sufficient to bring forth acknowl- 
edgment of guilt, repentance, and promises of change in their behav- 
ior in the future. The persons who did appear before the Session and 
were found guilty were usually admonished, warned, or in a few 
cases even suspended until they had repented. 

For the purpose of this book it will be best not to report the names 
of the members who found themselves under suspicion for miscon- 
duct. A number of them had names that are still prominent in the 
church or in Statesville, perhaps the grandfathers or kin of persons 
still active in the congregation. In most cases an approach by Dr. 
Wood, a pair or Elders, or an appearance before the solemn members 
of the Session was enough to call the accused from their erring ways 
and in only a few cases did suspension extend more than a few weeks 
or months. 


The most frequent charge they considered was for "intoxication'' or 
"indulging in strong drink." One was accused of "drinking and pool 
playing" and others of "drunkenness and profanity". During the years 
that Dr. Wood was Pastor more than fifteen different church members 
were called to account by the Session for alcohol abuse, some of them 
on repeated occasions. The liquor business was quite common in the 
area. Through the nineteenth century distilling had grown to be the 
chief industry in Iredell County. By the 1890s there were 47 bonded 
distilleries, and the railroad junction at Statesville had become the 
shipping center. For many the moderate use of whiskey or brandy was 
acceptable, but the abuses led to a growing strength among those call- 
ing for prohibition. The charges brought before the Session were not 
for drinking but for drunkenness and associated behavior. 

The situation of one man did call for repeated attention. In May 
1887 it was reported that a member "was engaged in the manufacture 
and sale of whiskey." A committee was named to confer with him. 
At the next meeting they reported that he "had been in the business 
inconsiderably and intends to abandon it." Action was taken "that the 
Session requires him to close out his connection with that business as 
soon as he can without injury to himself." Apparently he did close for 
a few months, but before the year was over rumors were circulating 
that he was still engaged in distilling. By the next summer he was 
cited to appear "and show why he failed to keep his promise to the 
Session to quit." This case was brought to a close when the man was 
convicted by the County Court of forgery and sentenced to the peni- 
tentiary. The Minutes report, "It being impractical to cite him, he was 
expelled from the church." Two elders, Dr. M. W. Hill and E. B. Stim- 
son, were instructed to "repair to the jail to inform him." 

After alcohol abuse, the second most frequent subject calling for 
disciplinary action by the Session was dancing. As early as 1844 notice 
had been given to an action by the Presbytery supporting the stand 
taken by the Synod and General Assembly warning against the 
"worldly pleasures" including dancing. Only a few references to the 
"vice" are found in the Minutes before Wood's ministry, but through 
the 1870s and 1880s the subject was before the Elders frequently. One 
reference reports, "By common fame some members are reported as 
attending a dance and one participating." Some times the names of 
individuals believed to be guilty are given, but more frequently the 
charge is against unnamed members for dancing, attending public 
balls or a dancing school. The defense made by one young man is 

Pastor William A. Wood, D.D. 151 

reported. He told the Session's committee that he did not consider it 
to be any harm. "He had asked his mother about the matter and she 
told him she had asked Dr. Wood about it and he told her that it was 
a matter that was left to the individual conscience of every one and 
they could do as they thought was right and that she could not see 
any harm in it." After this conversation with his mother he had "dis- 
missed all scruples on the subject and had danced as charged." 6 

The subject of dancing continued to be a matter of disagreement 
within the church. In March 1885 the Session took action in response 
to reports that "Several of our members have been dancing and 
attending a dancing school as subscribing scholars." Elders were 
appointed to confer with the accused "if they continue and advise 

! them not to approach the communion table." 7 A resolution was 

I passed at the February 1894 meeting declaring: "No one who habitu- 
ally engages in dancing and card playing in their houses will be 
allowed to teach in the Sabbath School of our Church." Dr. Wood was 
asked to see Mrs. Eleanor J. Morrison and inform her of this action. 
Elders were appointed to "confer with members of our Young Peo- 

i pie reported to have danced at balls and dancing parties." 8 At the next 
meeting Dr. Wood reported that Mrs. Morrison "expressed her sorrow 
for having permitted dancing and card playing at her home and 
promised it should never occur again." 

More serious were two charges brought in these years against mem- 
bers of the church who appropriated some funds for their own use, one 
from Sunday School offerings and the other from money collected for 
Foreign Missions. One of the accused confessed his sin and made 

) arrangements to pay back what he had taken. The other is reported as 
having "left the state" and was suspended. We do not understand the 
meaning of two charges that appear from time to time in the minutes, 

' "unchristian behavior" and "walking disorderly". They may have been 

i terms applied to the activities listed above or to other specific failings, 
or they may have been more general terms. In any case, the Minutes 
make it clear that the Session was quite aware of its responsibility for 
the spiritual oversight of the congregation and did not hesitate to use 
Church Discipline when they felt it was needed. 

Under the Presbyterian system of church government Elders and 
Deacons were chosen to serve for life. As the years passed and some 

, of the older officers died or others moved away, the congregation 
elected additional men to serve on the Session or Board of Deacons. 
After election they were approved by the Session and then ordained 



to the office for which they had been selected. During W. A. Wood's 
thirty year pastorate ten Elders and and twelve Deacons were 
ordained and joined those serving previously. In 1871 D. C. Thomp- 
son was elected Deacon. Other Deacons added were: 1876 — W. S. 
Phifer, Logan Stimson, and A. M. Witherspoon; 1881 — J. B. Gill, J. 
A. Milligan, J. A. Watts, W. W. Walton; and J. B. Woods; 1888 — Dr. 
M. R. Adams, W. F. Hall, and F. A. Sherrill. Elders added to the Ses- 
sion were: 1872 — J. H. Hill and I. S. Witherspoon; 1876 — J. P. 
Bradley, J. P. Flanigan, W. F. Hall, Sr., M. W Hill, John W. Poston and 
S. W. Stimson; 1898 — R. H. Rickert and F. A. Sherrill. 

Footnotes to Chapter XIV 

1. Session Minutes Book 1841 op. cit. p. 145 

2. Charles E. Raynal in The Presbyterian Standard, March 9, 1910, p. 4 

3. Bicentennial History of Old Fourth Creek Church, 1964, p. 19 

4. Session Minutes Book II, October 1, 1871 

5. Ibid, April 4, 1875 

6. Ibid, February 3, 1884 

7. Ibid, March 7, 1885 

8. Ibid, February 12, 1894 

Rev. William Andrew Wood 

Chapter Fifteen 

Expansion and Change 

The people of the Statesville Church were disturbed to learn that 
the Presbyterian Church in Graham, N. C. had extended a call 
to W. A. Wood to move there and become their pastor. He gave 
serious consideration to this call and turned to his presbytery for their 
guidance in giving his answer. The ties that had grown during the 
twenty years he had been in Statesville were so strong that the con- 
gregation did not want their beloved pastor to leave them. When Con- 
cord Presbytery met in the Spring of 1890 representations were made 
to the body expressing the earnest desire of the congregation that the 
change not be approved and that Wood be continued as their pastor. 
After hearing the parties and expressions from minister members who 
along with him had served long term pastorates in the area, the pres- 
bytery declined to dissolve the relationship between Dr. Wood and the 
Statesville Church. On learning that he would stay with them, the con- 
gregation approved a raise in his salary to $1,200. a year. 

The continued growth of the congregation had made the one room 
1870 building inadequate for their needs, and there was a movement 
to erect a larger building. The treasurer's report for 1891 shows the 
receipt of $14.50 assigned for the "new church". A building commit- 
tee was named composed of J. P. Caldwell, P. C. Carlton, J. C. Irvin, 
J. H. Hill, Dr. J. M. Hill, N. B. Mills and J. C. Steele to plan and oversee 
the project. They selected H. W. Fitch of Asheville to be the architect. 
In the end of January 1892 Mr. Fitch came to Statesville to meet with 
the committee and submitted a proposed plan which was approved. 
By summer he had sent detailed construction plans and the work had 

The old building was torn down by the contracting builders, the 
firm of Elliott and Elliott. For a year while the work proceeded, the 
Presbyterians worshipped on Sundays in the synagogue of their Jew- 
ish neighbors, Congregation Emmanuel, recently built (1891) beside 
the old Fourth Creek Cemetery. A Finance Committee composed of 


Dr. M. R. Adams, A. D. Cowles, W. F. Hall, Jr., D. A. Miller, F. A. Sher- 
rill, and J. E. Watts was named to raise the funds needed for the new 
building . The Church Treasurer, W. W. Walton, was treasurer for the 
Building Fund. Mr. Walton's ledger for this account is deposited with 
the other records from the church in the Historical Foundation at 
Montreat. The architect had estimated that the new church would cost 
$8,000.00; the final report shows that Elliott and Elliott were paid 
$8,001.50 for their services. In addition, a furnace was purchased and 
installed for $168.68, carpet for $255.00 and an organ for $1,000.00. 

Securing the organ was the fulfillment of a long time dream of the 
musicians in the congregation. In the sketch of his fifty years service 
in the music program of the church, written in 1932, Mr. Charles E. 
Mills tells the story of the first pipe organ to be installed in Statesville. 
In 1882 the members of the choir opened an account at the First Build- 
ing and Loan Association for the specific purpose of securing a pipe 
organ. When the fund reached $1,000.00 they were ready to proceed. 
There were some who wanted to use the funds for a carpet, but after 
some weeks the original purpose was affirmed, and Mr. Mills was 
authorized to purchase a pipe organ for the new church. A contract 
was signed with Henry Neiman & Son of Baltimore, a German organ 
builder, and in ninety days the new instrument with six stops and 360 
pipes was installed. The new instrument replaced a small reed organ 
used in the previous building on which the organist pumped foot ped- 
als to provide the air to vibrate the reeds as a note was struck. The new 
pipe organ had a leatherlined sound chest which was kept pumped 
full by the sexton using a long wooden handle extending from the 
organ box. The amount of pumping he needed to do depended upon 
the pitch and volume required for a particular piece of music. Between 
numbers the sexton could sit in a chair and catch his breath. Some air 
would escape, but he stood to his post as soon as another piece of 
music was called for. When the service had been concluded and a 
postlude played, the air pressure could go down and the pumping 
lever could be folded upwards into its niche in the wall until time for 
the next service. 

Mr. Walton's record lists one hundred-fifteen persons or families 
who contributed to the cost of the new building. Individual gifts in the 
years 1892, 1893, and 1894 were for amounts ranging from 50tf to 
$450.00. The Deacon's Minutes for February 1896 show that the "debt 
on church building amounts to some $600. for which note given to 
Marshall T. Allison who advanced this money to pay the contractor." 

Expansion and Change 155 

This debt was paid in full over the next nine months, for on Novem- 
ber the Session noted: "Having suceeded in paying off the debt on our 
Church Building it was decided to appoint the 22nd day of November 
1896 to dedicate it to the worship of God and on the same day observe 
the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper." 1 

The dedication celebration was held over three days. On Friday 
evening, November 20th, services were held with the Rev. J. B. Shear- 
er, DD of the faculty of Davidson College preaching. On Saturday 
morning at 11:00 o'clock the congregation gathered again for a second 
sermon by Dr. Shearer. Sunday morning Robert Ernest Caldwell, Pas- 
tor of the First Presbyterian Church, Winston preached the dedicato- 
ry sermon and Pastor W. A. Wood led the prayer of dedication. At the 
Communion service that evening Robert D. Stimson, pastor of the 
Hopewell Church near Charlotte, preached and assisted Dr. Wood in 
administering the Sacrament. Stimson was a native of Statesville and 
both Caldwell and Stimson were sons of this church, having been 
members of the congregation before being ordained to the ministry. 

The new church was built of red brick on a white limestone base 
extending up to floor level. A wide set of nine steps led to the front 
doors. At the northeast corner was a substantial tower with a tall 
steeple. In the Heritage Room are several snapshots showing the 
dynamiting of the steeple when the building was demolished in the 
mid-1920's to clear the way for erection of the present church. On the 
south side of the sanctuary there was an extension to house a "lecture 
room". Folding doors could be opened when needed to allow persons 
to be seated there when the main room was full. This room had sev- 
eral alcoves for Sunday School classes. 

The earliest official references to the new church are found in the 
Minutes of the officers. The Deacons in their March 20, 1893 meeting 
received a report that a ton of coal had been purchased for $13.38 and 
instructed that the use of wood in the furnace be explored. They 
decided to purchase "six suitable baskets for taking collection" and 
approved purchase of chairs from the Y.M.C.A. "at not to exceed $4.50 
a dozen". The number of chairs purchased is not stated, but we 
assume these were for the lecture room and Sunday School classes. 
Discussion was held over the next months on the advisability of fas- 
tening the chairs to the floor in the class rooms. After conferring with 
Prof. J. H. Hill they decided not to attach the seats. 

Another sign of progress was the provision of electric lighting in 
their new church. In June the Deacons authorized purchase of "four 


electric lamps for temporary lighting of the church and two for the lec- 
ture room." In 1889 the town aldermen had secured a steam power 
plant to provide electricity for the street lights and nearby houses and 
businesses. It had been built just to the east of the Fourth Creek Ceme- 
tery and the committee had decided to light the new church by this 
modern method rather than the kerosene lamps used in the earlier 
building. The Minutes show a report that the Town had "ordered a 32 
candle incandescent lamp for the front of the church." 3 

We do not have a record of the date of the first service held in the 
new building. It must have been in the Spring of 1893 for the Session 
Minutes of the April 23rd meeting identify the place of that meeting 
as "the Lecture Room". Apparently most of the money needed was 
donated during the year of construction. The Session's Annual Report 
for the church year ending March 31, 1893 shows expenditures for 
"Congregational Expenses" as $7,666.12. This compares with the fig- 
ures reported for other years before and after 1893 of less than $500.00. 
Following the custom of the Presbyterian Church, the new building 
was used when it was completed but it was not dedicated to God until 
all indebtedness had been paid off. That dedication is referred to 

Statesville continued to grow, including the development of com- 
munities for workers in the new industrial plants on the western and 
southern parts of town. In 1894 a Baptist Church had begun in the 
south end of town, and this was quickly followed by the Presbyteri- 
ans opening West End Chapel at the intersection of Front Street and 
West End Avenue. This work was begun and promoted largely under 
the influence of Erasmus B. Stimson, an Elder of the Presbyterian 
Church for more than 35 years and for many years the Clerk of Ses- 
sion. He contributed generously to the erection of their first building 
which was completed in November 1894. The Deacons received a 
"supplication from West End Chapel for the pulpit and lamp stands 
used in old church for use in the chapel." 4 They decided to donate the 
pulpit at once and the stands "when they can be spared." On Sep- 
tember 9, 1896 a commission of Concord Presbytery met at the Chapel 
and organized it as a Presbyterian Church. The new congregation 
chose Front Street Presbyterian Church as their name. At this time 
Presbytery approved the identification of the former Fourth Creek as 
the First Presbyterian Church, Statesville. 

It was during the pastorate of Dr. Wood that a series of changes 
occurred in the life of the college which had been so closely related 

Expansion and Change 157 

to Statesville and the Presbyterian Church. Despite his efforts, Dr. E. 
F. Rockwell was never able to secure the financial support to put the 
school on a sound basis. Enrollment declined, monetary support from 
the community and the presbytery was minimal in the days of Recon- 
struction, and his efforts did not show the favorable results he had 
hoped for when he had moved from Davidson. After two years he 
resigned as President of Concord Female College though he continued 
as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Rev. R. B. Anderson was 
elected president for the session 1890-91. He made a concerted effort 
to secure funds for the relief of the college, but the Board had to report 
to presbytery that he found most Northerners more willing to help the 
blacks rather than the whites. With regrets the Board reported to Pres- 
bytery that though the school was open with four or five teachers" 
and "about forty pupils and making good progress", they recom- 
mended that the school be closed and the property sold. 

This was a hard time for southern schools of higher education. The 
University of North Carolina was closed between 1870 and 1875. 
Davidson College remained open, but its Trustees, knowing of the sit- 
uation at Concord Female College, joined the Board in securing an 
order from the Superior Court that the property be sold to pay the 
debt owed to Davidson for money which had been borrowed some 
years before. A public auction was held at the Iredell County Court 
House door in January 1872. The highest bid of $10,000.00 made by 
Roxanne Simonton, wife of R. F. Simonton a prominent Statesville cit- 
izen, purchased twelve and seven-eights acres of land, the buildings 
and equipment. Under its new ownership the name of the school was 
changed to Simonton Female College, and the Rev. S. T. Martin from 
Virginia was appointed as President. When Martin left in 1875 to head 
a female academy in Charlotte the Trustees secured Mrs. Eliza 
Mitchell Grant to be president and her sister Margaret Mitchell to be 
her assistant. They were daughters of North Carolina's famed scien- 
tist and explorer Dr. Elisha Mitchell who had died in an accident while 
proving the height of Mount Mitchell which was named for him. Dur- 
ing the eight years of Mrs. Grant's presidency the college attained new 
prestige becoming "one of the more popular girls schools in the 
state." 5 

Another change occurred in 1883 when both Mr. Simonton and 
Mrs. Grant died. In settling the estate of Mr. Simonton it was discov- 
ered that his financial affairs were in disarray and the Court ordered 
that the college be sold to pay off some of his debts. The school was 


sold from the Court House door for a second time on February 3, 1883. 
The highest bid appeared to be $8,400.00 from some who wanted to 
tear down the building and sell lots, but Mr. C. L. Summers and a 
group of Statesville men made a bid of $10,000.00 which was accept- 
ed. According to the newspaper account: "the sale of the college was 
confirmed to Mr. Summers and Messrs. J. S. Miller, J. A. White, 
J. M. Patterson, W. F. Hall, John Cornelius, H. C. Cowles, T. A. Watt, 
G. F. Shepherd, and David Wallace." 6 Their intent was to save the 
school for the community, and all who have studied at "The College" 
in the years since owe them a debt of gratitude. 

For the school year 1883-1884 the college was rented to Miss Fannie 
Everitt who came to Statesville from Goldsboro. She gathered a facul- 
ty including Miss Margaret Mitchell in time to reopen the school for 
the fall term of 1883 as a boarding and day school for young ladies 
and girls. In the next year Miss Everitt bought the building with two 
and three-quarters acres from the group of men for $9,000.00. At this 
time the name was changed again from Simonton Female College to 
Statesville Female College under which name it continued until 1917. 
A few years after she came here Miss Everitt married W. W. Walton, 
treasurer of the Presbyterian Church. She operated the college until 
she retired in 1894. From his childhood the present writer remembers 
Mrs. Walton as an elderly lady sitting in a rocking chair by the win- 
dow in the home of her daughter Anna Belle and son-in-law John 
Andrew Scott on Mulberry Street. We knew that we were never to 
mention Lincoln or Grant in the presence of this staunch Southern 

After Mrs. Walton's retirement the school was closed for over a 
year. For a third time in less than 25 years there was danger that the 
school would be lost to Presbyterian influence. The saviour this time 
was the Rev. J. B. Shearer, D.D. of Davidson. With the assistance of 
some leaders in Statesville he was able to purchase the building and 
repair it. He secured Captain J. B. Burwell to conduct the school which 
was owned by Shearer but operated under the direct control of Con- 
cord Presbytery. The Statesville Female College opened again in the 
fall of 1896. Burwell continued as President through the closing years 
of Dr. Wood's ministry. 

Another influential activity in the church had its origin in the years 
Dr. Wood was here, the first organization of women's work. On 
November 2, 1875 the Ladies Foreign Missionary Society of the 
Statesville Presbyterian Church was founded at a meeting in the home 

Expansion and Change 159 

of Mrs. Roxana Simonton. Influential in its founding were Mrs. Eliza 
Mitchell Grant and Miss Margaret Mitchell. Officers chosen were Mrs. 
P. B. Chambers, President and Miss Margaret Mitchell, Treasurer. Miss 
Mitchell's record included a list of the charter members: Mrs. W. A. 
Wood; Mrs. E. M. Grant; Miss Margaret E. Mitchell; Mrs. M. G. Wal- 
ton (Mrs. W. W.); Mrs. Harvey Morrison; Miss Lou Graham; Mrs. 
Robert F. Simonton ; Mrs. Charles Carlton; Mrs. S. M. Lawrence (Mrs. 
Sallie Simonton); Mrs. Thomas H. McRorie; Mrs. W. F. Hall; Mrs. P. B. 
Chambers; Mrs. Hugh Kelly; Mrs. J. P. Caldwell; Mrs. J. H. McElwee; 
Mrs. S. C. Andrews; Mrs. W. F. Bailey; and Mrs. Sue Alexander. Some 
of the ones listed apparently joined after the founding of the group but 
paid their dues as charter members. These ladies' zeal for extending 
the Gospel had a major impact on the giving of their church to Foreign 
Missions. The Session's Annual Reports for the following years show 
that the church's contributions to support Missions far surpassed 
those to all other benevolent causes combined. Offerings are reported 
from the Church, the Sunday School, and the Girls Foreign Mission- 
ary Society, but every year the largest contribution was from the 
Ladies Society. 

Not long after the ladies had organized, the "Girl's Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society" was established at Simonton Female College under 
the guidance of Mrs. Grant and Miss Mitchell. The students normal- 
ly attended Sunday School and services at the Presbyterian Church 
and many joined it. Though centered at the college, the Girls Mis- 
sionary Society was considered to be part of the Church's program, 
and year by year their gifts are listed as one item under Foreign Mis- 
sions in the Session's annual report. This group was the main extra- 
curricular activity at the college until two literary societies and a Nat- 
ural Science Club were organized during Mrs. Walton's presidency. 

Two other organizations were established in the next few years in 
which the women of the congregation could express their support of 
the work of the church. About 1890 the Ladies' Aid Society was start- 
ed. Its stated purpose was to assist their pastor, W. A. Wood, in car- 
rying out his ministry and to support the local work of the church. 
Apparently one activity of the Ladies' Aid was to plan and sponsor 
social gatherings of the congregation from time to time. These occa- 
sions were perceived by the membership to be quite worthwhile. In 
January 1889 the Session passed a recommendation "that the Ladies 
Aid Society have Church Sociables quarterly hereafter instead of 
annually." 7 


A third group was organized in 1892, the Home Missionary Society. 
Their objective was to support the work being done in the mountain 
mission schools and churches in the western part of Concord Pres- 
bytery - Banner Elk, Plum Tree and Spruce Pine. This group secured 
funds "from dues, contributions from gentlemen members and enter- 
tainments." Entertainments they held included such things as "mea- 
suring parties, silver teas and plays" 8 There was strong feeling on the 
part of many that the church and its causes ought to be supported 
only through the Biblical giving of tithes and offerings. Other denom- 
inations had used various entertainments and sales as fund-raisers, 
and the practice was adopted for a time by the Presbyterians. Action 
on this subject had been taken by the General Assembly: 

"Whereas it appears to have become quite common for our people to 
secure money for church purposes by concerts, suppers, etc., be it 

Resolved, That the General Assembly advise against all such means 
for securing money to be used in the Master's work. This advice is 
given because we believe that the Lord has ordained that giving should 
be an act of worship, and thus a means of grace." 9 

This resolution passed in 1888 was confirmed in 1891, in 1917 and 
later. The Synod of North Carolina took action supporting this stand 
and on January 14, 1901 the Session of this church declared: "The Ses- 
sion expresses disapproval of any kind of public entertainment for 
raising money for church purposes." 10 As far as the records show this 
position has been followed. Concerts, suppers, and other entertain- 
ments have been held but not as the means of meeting the financial 
needs of the church. 

The completion of thirty years service as Pastor of the Presbyter- 
ian Church by W. A. Wood was marked by a special celebration. On 
Friday evening, September 22, 1899 the building was packed with 
members of his church, friends, and a wide representation from every 
church in town. The Landmark notes: "a goodly number of Hebrews 
being among those who had come to do him honor." 11 The sanctuary 
had been decorated with ferns, palms, and potted plants arranged 
around a large portrait of the honored minister. Seated at the pulpit 
with Dr. Wood were two longtime friends and colleagues in the min- 
istry, Drs. Jethro Rumple and William W. Pharr, both of whom had 
participated in the installation of Dr. Wood thirty years before. The 
three men had been college mates when all attended Davidson. 

The service began with a prelude on the organ played by Miss Jen- 
nie Culver accompanied by "eight instruments from the Old North 

Expansion and Change 161 

State Band." The choir is reported as "worthy of the occasion and a 
delight to all." 12 The visiting ministers led prayers, but most of the 
service was conducted by officers of the Church. Elder R. H. Rickert 
presided and after the invocation Prof. J. H. Hill, Clerk of Session, read 
a historical sketch covering the years of Wood's ministry. He included 
the report that since 1869 six hundred and forty-one members had 
been added to the church and two hundred twenty-nine children bap- 
tized. When he had concluded Mr. Rickert called on Mr. R. B. 
McLaughlin who presented a gold watch to Dr. Wood, a gift from the 
young men of the congregation. The ladies had refurbished the Pas- 
tor's study as their gift to him on this occasion. 

Dr. Wood responded expressing his thanks for the ones who had 
planned and participated in this service, for the people's kindness and 
for the many friends gathered for this occasion. The congregation 
stood and sang the hymn "How Firm A Foundation" and then Elder 
J. E. Watts presented proposed resolutions which expressed the con- 
gregation's words of appreciation and respect for their pastor, thank- 
ing God for his years with them, speaking of his influence upon the 
church and the community, and vowing to do all in their power to 
"make each succeeding year of his pastorate happier and more fruit- 
ful than the previous one." After the resolutions were affirmed, Elder 
F. A. Sherrill spoke in presenting a copy to Dr. Woods declaring that 
these written words were but a poor expression of the love they all felt 
for him in their hearts. 

Tributes to Dr. Wood were then made by Rev. M. A. Smith of the 
Methodist Church, Rev. J. H. Pressley of the Associate Reformed Pres- 
byterians, and Mr. John Stephany, president of Congregation 
Emmanuel. Each spoke of the kindness they had experienced from 
him and the affection felt for him throughout their congregations. 
After a closing hymn Dr. Wood pronounced the Benediction. All that 
were present that evening remembered it as an outstanding event in 
the life of the Statesville First Presbyterian Church. 

In his last years Dr. Wood had periods of poor health which kept 
him from carrying out the full responsibilities of his ministry. In the 
fall of 1894 the Session secured the Rev. John B. Cochran to come to 
Statesville for a three month period as Assistant Pastor. Cochran was 
a young man who had been educated and licensed to preach by the 
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church before coming to our 
denomination for ordination by Mecklenburg Presbytery in 1889. He 
came to Statesville after serving two churches in Kentucky. Session 


Minutes for January 14, 1896 report: "After discussion with the Pastor 
on amount of labor he felt able to perform, decided to dispense with 
the services of our Assistant Pastor Rev. J. B. Cochran after his time 
expires." The officers went ahead to adopt a resolution of thanks for 
his three months service supplying the pulpit "made vacant by pro- 
longed sickness of our Pastor." 13 Deacon's Minutes for March 1896 
refer to securing subscriptions for the salary of the Pastor and Assis- 
tant Pastor though the Assistant is not named. Mr. Cochran returned 
for a second period in late 1898 and early 1899 while he was living in 
Huntersville. His impact on this church continued in following years 
through the influence of his daughter Katie Neal and son-in-law R. D. 
Grier. The Griers were both active in the church, and he served the 
congregation, the presbytery and the Synod in important ways. His 
name will come up again when we come to the organization of the 
Forest Park Presbyterian Church (1960). 

Next the Session approached the Rev. E. E. Gillespie inviting him to 
come as the Assistant Pastor. Gillespie who had been an evangelist for 
Orange Presbytery declined and became the Superintendent of Home 
Missions for the Synod of North Carolina. With the exception of one 
period when he was the pastor of a church in South Carolina, he held 
this position with the Synod for 29 years until his retirement in 1948. 

After receiving a negative response from Mr. Gillespie the officers 
settled on the Rev. A. J. McKelway and a congregational meeting on 
December 31, 1899 elected him as Assistant Pastor. Mr. McKelway was 
widely known through the area as the editor of two church papers 
published in North Carolina, the Presbyterian Standard and the Presby- 
terian Quarterly. In her 1939 short history of the church Miss Minnie 
Eliason says of him: "Dr. McKelway was a man of great originality 
and he left a lasting impression upon the people who learned to love 
him during his brief service here." 14 He had started as Dr. Wood's 
assistant, but the Pastor's health continued to decline. McKelway 
stepped in, not only preaching and serving as Acting Moderator of the 
Session, but also covering the pastoral responsibilities. The Church 
was most fortunate to have him through the days that were just 

Dr. Wood preached for the last time on November 29, 1899. On Sun- 
day, March 11, 1900 he felt strong enough to attend church. He spoke 
very briefly as he asked the congregation to accept his resignation. 
With great love the congregation agreed to relieve him of his duties as 
pastor, but unwilling to lose the ties which bound them to their 

Expansion and Change 163 

beloved pastor, the congregation elected William A. Wood as their 
Pastor Emeritus. Only a few days later he took a turn for the worse 
and was admitted to Dr. Henry F. Long's hospital. On Monday, April 
2, 1900 Dr. Wood died. The whole community was impacted. The 
Landmark gave three columns of its editorial page to a report and trib- 
ute. The Board of Aldermen postponed their regular meeting in order 
to attend his funeral. The church was absolutely packed with the con- 
gregation, his colleagues from across the presbytery, and a large num- 
ber of Statesville friends. The service was conducted by the Revs. A. J. 
McKelway and W. H. McLelland assisted by others who had been fel- 
low ministers of Dr. Wood in Statesville and Concord Presbytery. Offi- 
cers of the church were pall bearers as the body was taken to its final 
resting place in Oakwood cemetery. The coffin was preceeded by 
seven ministers and followed by the longest funeral procession ever 
known in Statesville before that date. The newspaper account of the 
funeral says: "And thus Statesville paid its last tribute to its foremost 
citizen, whom living, all loved, and dead, none shall forget." 15 

A tribute to Dr. Wood in The Landmark probably written by the edi- 
tor, J. P. Caldwell, declared: 

"The death of no other man would so touch the town. For almost a gen- 
eration he has lived here and every man and woman and child knew 
and loved him. His was a beautiful life, pure and stainless. Consecrat- 
ed to the service of God in his early life, he preached Christ and Him 
crucified from his pulpit, and told the story of His wondrous love in 
words tender and ever to be remembered; but in his daily life he exem- 
plified in the most forcible manner the living power of the truths he 
taught. Subjected for thirty years and more to the searchlight of public 
criticism, he walked unscathed. None knew him but to love him. Hum- 
ble, gentle, kind, yet firm and uncompromising for the right, he wield- 
ed an influence that will live on and on." 16 

Footnotes to Chapter XV 

1. Sessions Minute Book II, op cit Nov. 21, 1896 

2. Deacons' Minutes Book I - 1886 June 13, 1893 

3. Ibid 

4. Ibid Nov. 5, 1894 

5. Homer M. Keever, op cit p. 346 

6. Neill R. McGeachy, op cit, p. 382 

7. Session Minute Book II, op cit Jan 3, 1889 

8. Bicentennial History op cit p. 9 

9. Digest of the Acts and Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1966 p. 274 

10. Session Minute Book II, op cit Jan. 14, 1901 

11. The Landmark Sept. 26, 1899 p. 1 



12. Ibid 

13. Session Minute Book II, op cit Jan 14, 1896 

14. Eliason op cit p. 10 

15. The Landmark April 3, 1900 

16. Bid 

Rev. Charles Malone Richards, D.D. 

Chapter Sixteen 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 

The death of W. A. Wood was deeply felt by the Congregation of 
First Presbyterian. A majority of the members did not even 
remember any other pastor. In the thirty years he was here 
many of them had been born, baptized, educated, married, and start- 
ed their own families under this good man. The Session prepared and 
the congregation adopted resolutions expressing thanks to God for his 
ministry to them, honoring his memory and declaring "... we will 
strive to manifest our high appreciation of our sainted pastor by fol- 
lowing his example as he followed our blessed Saviour, so that living 
in our measure as he lived, we may be prepared to die as he died." 1 
Careful study was given to erecting a memorial to Dr. Wood, and 
skilled hands made and erected the granite obelisk in his honor which 
stands on the church grounds to the south of the present church. 

The church was fortunate in having the continued ministry of 
A. J. McKelway at this time. As the assistant pastor he had filled the 
pulpit and performed the duties which Dr. Wood was unable to do 
during his final illness. With the aid of the Rev. W. R. McLelland, pas- 
tor of Bethany and Bethpage Churches, he conducted Dr. Wood's 
funeral and ministered to the congregation in their grief. Since he was 
already known to the people, he was readily accepted as their interim 
minister while the search for a new pastor was carried on. 

On Sunday, June 10, 1900 a congregational meeting was held to 
select one. When the vote was taken, the first choice was the Rev. 
A. A. Little, pastor of the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church in Meck- 
lenburg Presbytery. He received 133 votes. Mr. McKelway was the 
choice of 52 and "Others" were named by 4. Having elected Mr. Little, 
the congregation met again the next Sunday "to set the salary for the 
Pastor elect, Rev. A. A. Little." 2 A call was extended promising an 
annual salary of $1,200. Little declined to accept the call but Session 
Minutes for the next month report they had "made arrangements with 
Rev. A. White to preach (here) after July until a Pastor is secured." 3 At 


this meeting a pulpit nominating committee was named to select and 
propose another person to become their pastor. 

In the year 1900 between the time of Dr. Wood's death in April and 
the arrival in November of the new pastor, C. M. Richards, several 
changes occurred which had impact on the life of the church over the 
years that folllowed. The Session elected Elder F. A. Sherrill, who had 
been ordained in 1898, as Clerk of Session replacing E. B. Stimson. Mr. 
Sherrill was to serve the church in this responsible position for the 
next forty years. 

Aware of their responsibility for the oversight of the worship of the 
people and concerned that the music in the church be well ordered, 
the Session elected Charles E. Mills as "Musical Director of the 
Church's Choir", renamed Miss Jennie Culver as the organist and list- 
ed nine persons as choir members. On November 5, 1900 the Session 
learned, "Miss Culver declined to serve as the organist unless she is 
paid a salary" 4 The church was having some financial difficulties at 
this time and the Session decided they could not offer her a salary. 
Instead the Session elected "Miss Cayce, Music Teacher at the Col- 
lege" as organist. We do not know how long Miss Cayce played the 
organ for the church or even if she accepted the appointment, for her 
name is not included in the list of twenty-six persons he had known 
as organists named by Mr. Mills in his 1953 sketch on the history of 
music at the Presbyterian Church written for publication in the local 

Charles E. Mills was to be the single strongest influence in the 
development of a tradition of fine church music in this congregation 
and the promotion of music through the community. He had been a 
partner of Robert A. Poston in the general merchandise store, Mills 
and Poston, which continued to serve the community until shortly 
before World War II. Mr. Mills composed hymns for use in the Pres- 
byterian Church and organized "gospel sings" in this church and oth- 
ers. His part in securing other fine musicians who were to use their tal- 
ents in the church's ministry of music will be referred to later. 

Professor J. B. Burwell resigned as President of Statesville Female 
College effective at the close of the school year in June 1900. Dr. Shear- 
er still owned the college with the oversight of Concord and Meck- 
lenburg Presbyteries. He secured the Rev. John Addison Scott, D.D. 
from Gainesville, Alabama to be the new president. In the fourteen 
years Dr. Scott was at Statesville Female College the school reached 
new heights of success. A 1956 publication of Mitchell College mark- 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 167 

ing the observance of the centennial of the college's founding contains 
a sketch of the school's history by Richard Mize. Concerning Dr. 
Scott's presidency Mr. Mize states: 

"It was during this period that Statesville Female College became recog- 
nized as a teacher's college; and graduates ... were granted equal stand- 
ing in the public school system with graduates of much larger institutions. 
Statesville College during this time granted the A.B. Degree; B.L. Degree; 
B.S. Degree; Graduate in Business Degree; and the Graduate in Piano 
Degree; Graduate in Art Degree; Graduate in Voice Degree and Graduate 
in Elocution Degree." 5 

In these years there were major improvements to the physical facil- 
ities of the college: new furnishings, a central heating plant, attach- 
ment to the city electric system so electric lights could be provided 
and to the city sewerage lines. The most obvious improvement was 
the construction of Shearer Music Hall named in honor of the Rev. Dr. 
J. B. Shearer, the longtime chairman of the college's Board of Trustees 
and major benefactor. The addition provided the largest auditorium 
in Statesville, eight music practice rooms, and twenty additional dor- 
mitory rooms. The contributions to erect it were collected under 
Scott's leadership, and it was dedicated in 1908. 

One who remembered it described the weekly procession of the 
young ladies of the college on their Sabbath morning walk to the Pres- 
byterian Church as "a line of Gibson girls" under the watchful eye of 
Dr. or Mrs. Scott. The students would seat themselves in a group at the 
front of the auditorium for the worship service. Young men of the 
community often attended for some were allowed to accompany the 
college students on their walk back to the campus. 

Rev. John A. Scott was received as a member of Concord Presbytery 
from Tuscaloosa Presbytery on September 3, 1900. The pulpit nomi- 
nating committee of the Church now agreed on another man to rec- 
ommend to the congregation to become their new minister, the Rev. 
Charles M. Richards. Mr. Scott was invited to moderate a congrega- 
tional meeting on September 16th for the purpose of electing a pastor. 
A call was extended to C. M. Richards and he accepted it. He moved 
to Statesville and was received as a member of Concord Presbytery on 
November 16, 1900, just two months after Dr. Scott had joined the 

Charles Malone Richards was a native of Liberty Hall, S. C, the son 
of a Confederate veteran. He had been educated at Davidson College 
and Columbia Theological Seminary. After receiving his theological 


degree he did a year's post-graduate study at the seminary before 
being ordained to the ministry in 1896. His first pastorate was at 
Hebron Church in Harmony Presbytery (S. C). It was from that work 
that he was called to become the ninth pastor of the Statesville 
Church. A Commission of Presbytery installed him on December 9, 
1900. While he was here Davidson College honored him with the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1906. 

With the coming of a new minister the congregation had to make 
arrangements for a place for him to live. Dr, Wood had owned his own 
home on Walnut Street but now the Church purchased its first manse. 
Minutes of the Board of Deacons for November 1900, the month Pas- 
tor and Mrs. Richards moved to Statesville, show their discussion of 
"the matter of purchasing a manse". In December arrangements were 
completed and the Deacons in their position as Trustees of the First 
Presbyterian Church purchased a house and quarter acre lot at the cor- 
ner of Kelly Street and West End Avenue from L. W. and M. V. Hunter 
for $1,900. The deed names M. R. Adams, J. B. Gill, W F. Hall, Logan 
Stimson and W. W. Walton as the Deacon-Trustees making the pur- 
chase. In their Minutes they describe their purchase as "what is 
known as the Dr. Reid house." 6 We do not have a record of where the 
Richards family lived for their first two months in Statesville, but they 
moved into the Kelly Street manse on January 16, 1901. 

The first meeting of the Session at which Richards was Moderator 
was held on December 12, 1900. R. H. Rickert was appointed as Sun- 
day School Superintendant replacing J. H. Hill and R. L. Poston was 
named to be Assistant Superintendant. Six were approved as Ushers: 
W. H. Allison, B. H. Adams, R. L. Poston, Herbert Morrison, and 
Henry Oscar Steele. At this meeting the family of Rev. J. A. Scott: Mrs. 
Lucy Waddell Scott, Isabel Hill Scott (Mrs. Z.V. Long, m. 1908), Mar- 
garet M. Scott (Mrs. C. E. Raynal, m. 1914) and Mary C. Scott, were 
received into membership on transfer from the Gainesville, Ala. Pres- 
byterian Church. Dr. and Mrs. Scott's three sons Legh, John, and Gor- 
don came under care of the Session as baptized non-communicants. 
This family was to prove important in the church throughout the 
twentieth century with descendants of Dr. and Mrs. Scott still being 
active in the congregation. 

During Richards' first year a good deal of attention was paid by the 
Board of Deacons to the finances of the Church. The Treasurer, 
W. W. Walton, reported that some of the commitments of the congre- 
gation had not been paid because of a shortage of funds. A careful 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 169 

study including an audit of the treasurer's books was made, and it 
was discovered that over a period of five years the recorded gifts were 
something over $1,000. more than the amount spent and on hand. 
There was agreement that this shortage was not an intentional misuse 
of funds by Mr. Walton, but, apparently, some of the money given to 
the church had become mixed up with the funds of his business 
through carelessness. It was also clear that, from time to time, he had 
advanced money from his business to pay some of the church's bills. 
He had voluntarily come forward when he was aware of the situation 
and offered to do all in his power to replace any funds that had been 
misplaced. One result of the audit was a recognition that the estate 
of Dr. W. A. Wood was owed $476.34 for failure to pay him the full 
amount of the subscription made to him in 1897, 1898, and 1899. The 
amount which had not been paid to Dr. Wood was a result of the 
church having extra expense to pay for an assistant during their pas- 
tor's illness. The account was reported as fully settled in October 1901. 
Pastor Richards was a young man when he came to Statesville, only 
twenty-nine years of age. He took great interest in reaching out to the 

, young people of the community. Of course there had been Sunday 
School classes for the youth from the time the first "Sabbath School" 
had been established, separate classes for boys and girls. Under Dr. 
Wood's ministry, in 1887, a Session meeting had named a "commit- 
tee of the Session to look after young people who do not attend Sun- 
day School." 7 Several times during the later years of the nineteenth 
century some individual young people were warned against the dan- 
ger of dancing, but the first reference to organized youth work apart 
from the Sunday School is found in the Session Minutes for January 

I 11, 1897. "The organizing of a young people's meeting half an hour 
before the evening services was approved." 8 As far as we now have 
records, the only organized work with young people before that time 
was the Girls Foreign Missionary Society which had started at the col- 
lege about 1876. 

Toward the close of the first year after Dr. Richards' arrival in 
Statesville, the Session instructed "all Young People under 15 to meet 
each Saturday in the Lecture Room for counsel and instruction." 9 This 
is the first reference we have to organized meetings for young peo- 
ple other than those related to the Sunday School or congregational 
worship. It became customary to hold a special service for young peo- 
ple and children on the Sunday afternoons when the church had a vis- 
iting minister to preach for Communion seasons. With encouragement 


of the Pastor, the youth group grew and expanded its activity. In June 
1905 they made a request for permission "to hold social meetings in 
the Lecture Room at which games might be played and refreshments 
served." 10 Prior to that, gatherings had been limited to instruction and 

In the next years the Statesville church became a model for youth 
work as it was developed throughout the denomination. Most influ- 
ential was the devoted work of Miss Mamie McElwee who began as a 
leader of the young people of this congregation and found this min- 
istry a major emphasis of her life. When the Synodical of North Car- 
olina sought a person to be their Secretary of Young People's Work 
and Sunday School Extension in 1916, they employed "Miss Mamie". 
Her conviction of the importance of ministry to young people and her 
willingness to strive until her goals were accomplished led to the first 
Synod- wide Youth Conference at Queens College, Charlotte in 1919. 
She had a major influence on the way in which youth work developed 
across the denomination. 

The Statesville church again became involved in the education of 
boys during Dr. Richards' pastorate. Of course Presbyterian influ- 
ence had been felt in this enterprise ever since the days of their first 
pastor James Hall. In 1815 the congregation had built the Session 
House with the intent that it should be used also as a school. The 
Rev. John Muschat had been the first teacher and conducted his 
school on the church grounds in its early years. Professor J. H. Hill, 
an Elder of the Church, was the most prominent educator in the 
community in the years following the Civil War. About 1869 he 
began to teach in a school for boys near the grounds of the College. 
The next year he joined the faculty of Concord Female Presbyterian 
College, about the time Dr. E. F. Rockwell resigned as its president. 
Rockwell replaced Hill as a teacher at the Male Academy. A group of 
citizens, probably led by some in the Presbyterian Church, moved to 
establish the Statesville Male Academy and secured a charter for it 
from the General Assembly in 1875. The group named itself the 
Statesville Male Academy Association, bought property and erected 
a school house on Bell Street. Professor Hill was the principal of the 
Male Academy after 1880 when his wife, Grace Martin Hill, pur- 
chased it. He served as its leader for twenty-five years with the 
exception of a period when he took office as Clerk of Court. The 
school came to be commonly known as Professor Hill's Academy. 
After he completed his term in public office, Hill returned as prin- 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 171 

cipal of the Statesville Male Academy and continued there until his 
retirement in 1905. 

The Minutes of the Session for May 3, 1905 show their concern for 
the continuation of this educational work carried on by their fellow 
Elder. They state; "J. H. Hill having decided to retire from school work 
leaving the Male Academy open for a successor was discussed. It was 
ordered that the Session enter into covenant with the said Hill, owner 
of the property, for use of the same for one year at a rental of $50.00 
payable semi-annually." 11 Hill had secured A. S. Paxton of Missouri 
to operate the school, and he served from 1905 to 1910. By the second 
year the church had raised the rent payment to $100. a year. We are not 
sure how many years it was operated under this agreement with the 
Session since the existent records do not show rental payments after 
1907, but the need for a separate male academy was no longer felt after 
the public schools expanded to include high school. Mr. Paxton was the 
last principal of Statesville Male Academy. A female academy did con- 
tinue at Statesville Female College (Mitchell) until World War II. 

When CM. Richards and his wife Jane came to Statesville they had 
one daughter, Mary James. In 1902 they had a son, James McDowell 
Richards. He was baptized and received on the roll of non-commu- 
nicants of the Presbyterian Church though his family moved before he 
was of age to make his own profession of faith. When he reached 
maturity, "Mac" Richards studied for the ministry of the Presbyterian 
Church. In the years that followed he was a pastor and then became 
the President of Columbia Theological Seminary in 1932. He was 
elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church, U.S. in 1955, the highest office in the denomination, making 
him the first person associated with this congregation to be selected as 
Moderator since James Hall in 1803. McDowell Richards' association 
with this church in his early years makes it quite proper to list his 
name as one of the "Sons of the Church" who became ministers. 

Others from this church who had entered the ministry earlier 
included: Hugh Wilson and L. F. Wilson, sons of Fourth Creek's sec- 
ond pastor; John William Rosebro (ordained 1873); Robert D. Stimson 
(ordained 1877); Robert E. Caldwell (ordained 1877); Hinton R. Over- 
cash (ordained 1898); Louis E. Bostian (ordained 1900); and Edward 
F. Bradley (ordained 1900). 

In the hallway of the second story of the present building were 
mounted two stained glass windows. They were taken from the 1896 
building when it was torn down in the 1920s. One of these was a 


memorial to their beloved former pastor, W. A. Wood. The other hon- 
ored Miss Jessie Fowler. In January 1902 the Board of Deacons con- 
sidered a request that came before it to authorize the installation of a 
"Memorial Window" to be placed in the Church. The windows in the 
Church had been made of frosted glass with the individual panes cut 
in a diamond shaped pattern. Reading between the lines of the Dea- 
cons' Minutes we can see that there was objection on the part of some 
to having the change, but the Board took action approving the request 
"provided that glare from it shall not be objectionable to the congre- 
gation — if so we will use blinds or screens." 12 The Wood window 
was installed and, apparently, was well received by the congregation. 

In July 1906 approval was given for installation of a second stained 
glass window. This one was given by Mr. J. C. Irvin as a memorial to 
his step-daughter, Jessie Fowler. Six months later, in January 1907, the 
Deacons approved "paying the balance due on the Memorial Window 
for the women." 13 The records do not show which window the bal- 
ance was still due on, but since reference is made to the women's par- 
ticipation, it was probably the Wood window which they had pro- 
moted as a parallel to the stone monument erected on the church 
lawn. As far as I have been able to find, these were the only two 
stained glass windows in the pre-1924 building. When the present 
building was erected, the two windows were mounted in the stair- 
wells. The Wood window was removed to make space for the new ele- 
vator installed in 1993. At the time of the present writing it is stored in 
the Heritage Room while a decision is made on remounting it. 

The ministry of C. M. Richards was a time of substantial growth for 
the First Presbyterian Church. The first annual report of the Session to 
Concord Presbytery after he came to Statesville shows a membership 
of four hundred-fifteen. While he was here the congregation continued 
the practice, begun while Dr. Wood was pastor, of holding a series of 
services for preparation for the regular observance of the Sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper. Sometimes Dr. Richards himself conducted these 
services on three evenings in the week before the Sacrament was 
served. Other times he was assisted by another minister, invited by the 
Session to preach and assist their pastor in administering the elements. 
These services of preparation continued to be the time for persons to 
join the membership of the church. Their Minutes show that the Ses- 
sion met each evening after service to examine and receive members. 
While Dr. Richards was here one hundred and ninety persons were 
received on profession of faith and an additional one hundred and 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 173 

forty-seven on transfer of their membership from other churches. A 
large number of the young women who were students at the college 
joined this church while in Statesville and moved their church mem- 
bership upon graduation. By the time of Dr. Richards' last year here, 
1908, the church membership was reported as five hundred and forty. 

In these years two more men from the congregation secured the 
endorsement of the Session to apply to presbytery to be received as 
candidates for the ministry. In September 1905 Samuel Hutson Hay, 
a rising Senior at Davidson College, was received from the Laurel Hill 
Presbyterian Church in South Carolina as a member of the congrega- 
tion and at the same meeting the Session asked Dr. Richards to com- 
mend him to presbytery as a suitable person to be received as a can- 
didate for the ministry. He did his theological training at Columbia 
and Princeton Seminaries and was ordained in 1910. The nearest ties 
he had to the Statesville church after becoming a minister were 
between 1916 and 1920 when he was pastor of the Mooresville Pres- 
byterian Church. 

Wyly Parks Gibbs was the son of John Milton Gibbs, a farmer in 
southern Iredell County. The father entered Union Theological Semi- 
nary at the age of fifty and was ordained by Concord Presbytery in 
1904. Parks was twenty-two and working in Statesville when he 
decided to follow his father's example. After finishing Davidson, he 
studied at Union from 1910-1913 and was ordained by the Presbytery 
of Tygerts Valley. His primary ministry for the next thirty years was as 
a teacher. In 1942 he transferred his membership into the Holston 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

During Dr. Richards' first year as pastor here the congregation elect- 
ed additional officers to the Session and the Board of Deacons. Dr. 
Minor R. Adams and J. C. Steele were elected as Elders on June 2, 
1901. The call of the congregational meeting for the election recom- 
mended the selection of four additional deacons but provided that if 
any of the present ones were chosen to be elders, the number of Dea- 
cons selected should be increased to replace them on the Board. 
M. R. Adams had been Chairman of the Board of Deacons so five new 
Deacons were elected: J. A. Brady, J. A. Cooper, W. J. Poston, 
C. M. Steele, and W. W. Turner. At another election in 1906 four more 
deacons were chosen, adding J. R. Hill, J. T Montgomery, J. A. Vaughn 
and E. B. Watts to the Board of Deacons. 

One of the reasons for increasing the number of active officers may 
have been an attempt to make more of the people aware of the finan- 


cial needs of the church. Through the years that Dr. Richards was here 
the outreach of the congregation had expanded. In the years follow- 
ing 1904 an annual contribution of $300.00 was made to the Front 
Street Church to assist them in providing a minister's salary. For 1907 
the Minutes of the Deacons show that they offered to increase this 
support to $400.00 a year "provided that they secure Rev. W. C. Brown 
as Pastor." 14 Mr. Brown had been the Stated Supply at Front Street 
between its organization in 1896 and 1904 while he was pastor of Con- 
cord (Iredell) and New Salem Churches. He had been chosen as the 
Stated Clerk of the presbytery in 1905 and was highly respected in the 
whole area. Instead of accepting the invitation to Front Street, Mr. 
Brown chose to respond favorably to another call and moved to Rae- 
ford, N. C. where he was pastor for seventeen years. 

Though the conditions for the $400. donation were not met, First 
Presbyterian did continue to support the work at Front Street and the 
college generously. Other than the regular benevolent causes to which 
they donated through the General Assembly, the Synod, and the Pres- 
bytery, this church had particular concern for the mountain people 
and gave regular support to Lees-McRae Institute, Grandfather's 
Home for Orphans, and the hospital, all this work founded at Ban- 
ner Elk by the Rev. Edgar Tufts, presbytery's Domestic Missionary. 

The church did not decrease its support of benevolences even 
though they seemed to have had some difficulty meeting all their 
expenses. In April 1907 Dr. Richards returned a check for $130.00 he 
had received as payment on his salary pointing out that it was not the 
amount the church owed him. The salary promised him when he 
came to Statesville was $1,000. a year. For the church year beginning 
April 1, 1906 this had been increased to $1,200. When the Deacons 
made a study of what he should have received and what he had actu- 
ally been paid, it was reported at the July 1907 Deacon's meeting that 
the Pastor's salary was in arrears by $1,800. The Deacons took action 
instructing the treasurer to pay his salary "out of the first funds each 
month" 15 and over the next year the money owed Dr. Richards was 
paid in full. 

At a Session meeting on October 4, 1908 Dr. Richards reported "that 
he had decided from a sense of duty to accept the call from the church 
at Davidson if the Presbytery would place the call in his hands." 16 
Richards was admired and respected by the congregation and many 
had hoped for another lengthy pastorate such as they had experienced 
under W. W. Wood, but they agreed to his request, and a month later 

Pastor Charles M. Richards 175 

he moved to Davidson and became pastor of the congregation on the 
edge of the college campus. 

C. M. Richards was pastor of the Davidson College Church for eigh- 
teen years until 1926 when he joined Mark E. Sen telle and Kenneth J. 
Foreman as one of the professors of Bible on the faculty of Davidson. 
Since Bible study, one year on the Old Testament and one on the New, 
were required of every student, his ministry as a teacher in the next 
twenty years reached thousands of young men during the crucial 
years of their development. 

For over forty years Dr. Richards was a member of Concord Pres- 
bytery and a faithful supporter of the Presbyterian Church. He served 
on the Boards of Trustees of both Statesville Female College (Mitchell) 
and Davidson College and for over twenty years was Chairman of the 
Board of Mitchell. From time to time he was involved with every 
activity of the Presbytery and served terms in almost every part of the 
committee structure. Of special note was the conscientious way in 
which he participated in the examination of those coming before Con- 
cord Presbytery for ordination or reception into its membership. He 
was conservative theologically and determined to uphold the stan- 
dards as he understood them. When he spoke on a matter being con- 
sidered by the body, his words were listened to with respect and fre- 
quently his position carried when a vote was taken. 

Dr. Richards continued to have strong relations with Statesville, 
both to the college and the church. Many in the congregation counted 
him as a friend through the years, and he was warmly welcomed on 
the number of occasions when he was invited to preach in Statesville. 
The last time C. M. Richards attended service here was on Sunday, 
October 11, 1964 when he was present as the only living past pastor at 
the BiCentennial Celebration of the organization of Fourth Creek 
Church. His son, Dr. J. McDowell Richards, the President of Columbia 
Theological Seminary, preached that morning. Two months later, 
December 25, 1964, Charles M. Richards went to his eternal reward. 



Footnotes to Chapter XVI 

1. Session Book II - Congregational Resolution, p. 215 

2. Session Book III - Minutes - June 17, 1900 

3. Ibid. - Minutes - June 10, 1900 

4. Ibid. - Minutes - June 17, 1900 

5. Richard Mize, "History of Mitchell College" in Mitchell College Centennial Celebration 1856-1956 

6. Deacons Book I - Minutes - December 15, 1900 

7. Session Book II - Minutes - November 28, 1887 

8. Ibid. - Minutes - January 11, 1897 

9. Session Book III - Minutes November 17, 1906 

10. Ibid. - Minutes - June 18, 1905 

11. Ibid. - Minutes - May 3, 1905 

12. Deacons Book op. cit. - Minutes - January 7, 1902 

13. Ibid. - Minutes - January 11, 1907 

14. Ibid. - Minutes - November 18, 1906 

15. Ibid. - Minutes - April 5, 1907 

16. Session Book op. cit. - Minutes - October 4, 1908 

Rev. Charles E. Raynal, 
D.D., 1909-1944 

Chapter Seventeen 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 

The Synod of North Carolina was scheduled to meet on October 
27, 1908 in New Bern. The congregation endorsed Dr. Richards' 
request that the Synod be asked to instruct Concord Presbytery 
to hold a called meeting at that time to hear his request that the pas- 
toral relationship between himself and the Statesville First Church 
be dissolved in order for him to accept the call of the Davidson Col- 
lege Church. The Session named Clerk of Session J. H. Hill and Elder 
S. W. Stimson to represent the interest of the congregation at this meet- 
ing. Expecting favorable action by the Presbytery the Session had pre- 
pared a recommendation which came before the congregation at the 
same time as it considered Dr. Richards' request, that a committee to 
nominate a pastor be named composed of Elders J. H. Hill, F. A. Sher- 
rill, S. W. Stimson, two Deacons and two "unofficial members." 

November 1st was the last Sunday Dr. Richards was here. He 
preached at the morning and evening services and moderated a Ses- 
sion meeting. The minutes state: "Having taken recess, Session met 
again after morning service when Mrs. Janie McDowell Richards, and 
Miss Mary James Richards, wife and daughter of Dr. C. M. Richards, 
with James McDowell & Sopia Richards, baptized children, were dis- 
missed to the Davidson Presbyterian Church on certificate." 1 Elder J. 
C. Steele reported that he had followed the Session's instructions and 
had talked to "Rev. Wharey". He was willing to become temporary 
supply of the church while they sought a new minister. The Clerk was 
instructed to write Mr. Wharey and offer him $75.00 per month "with 
use of the manse if needed — his work to begin November 8th." 2 

James Morton Wharey was already known to many in the congre- 
gation from the twenty years he had been pastor of the Mooresville 
Presbyterian Church. After his retirement in 1905 he had supplied the 
Hickory and Taylorsville Churches before agreeing to do the work in 
Statesville. For nine months he filled the pulpit, moderated the Ses- 
sion, and did what pastoral work he could. His ministry here was 


most acceptable, and he was well received by the congregation. In 
preparing a budget for the church year beginning April 1, 1909, the 
Board of Deacons recommended that the salary paid Mr. Wharey be 
increased from $75.00 to $100.00 a month. This was to be the last min- 
istry he performed for he died on December 1, 1909. 

The congregation was called to meet on Sunday, May 23, 1909 to 
hear a report from the Pulpit Nominating Committee. Elder J. H. Hill, 
who had been chosen as chairman of the committee, reported that they 
had come to a unanimous decision "to recommend Rev. C. E. Raynal 
of Charlotte, N. C. as a suitable man for Pastor of our Church." 3 Mr. 
Raynal was then pastor of St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. 
After hearing the report, the congregation voted to extend a call to him. 
Professor Hill, as Clerk of Session as well as Chairman of the Pulpit 
Nominating Committee, sent a telegram to Savannah because, the 
week of his election, Mr. Raynal was there in attendance at the meeting 
of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a commission- 
er from Mecklenburg Presbytery. 

After returning to Charlotte he took the call under serious consid- 
eration, and two weeks later informed the Statesville congregation of 
his acceptance provided that Concord Presbytery approved the call 
and Mecklenburg agreed to dissolve his relation to St. Paul's. In the 
Heritage Room of the church there is a letter dated June 30, 1909 from 
Raynal to J. H. Hill. He refers to the letters he had received from some 
of the officers in Statesville and speaking of the difficulty he had mak- 
ing the decision to leave Charlotte says: 

"The people wanted to contest my decision but I was very positive, and 
so the officers yielded and the congregation will join me in my request 
to Presbytery. (I have) a growing conviction that I am called to your 
church and that God is leading me there to do His will." 4 

Representatives from the church presented the call for Charles E. 
Raynal at a called meeting of Concord Presbytery on July ninth. It was 
approved and ordered and sent to Mecklenburg Presbytery request- 
ing the transfer of his membership. On July thirtieth that Presbytery 
heard from Mr. Raynal and the representative from St. Paul and gave 
its approval. 

The new pastor and his mother, Rebecca Girardeau Raynal, moved 
to Statesville in August and occupied the manse. The first recorded 
Session meeting at which he was present was held on Sunday, August 
8, 1909. When Concord Presbytery held its semi-annual stated meet- 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 179 

ing in September, Mr. Raynal was received, the call was placed into his 
hands, and a commission was named to install him. Dr. C. M. 
Richards was to preside and preach, Dr. Wharey to give a charge to 
the minister, and Elder W. J. Martin, a member of the faculty of David- 
son College, to charge the congregation. At the next meeting of pres- 
bytery Dr. Richards reported that they had fulfilled their assigned 
responsibility. It was at this meeting that notice was given of the death 
of Dr. Wharey. 

Charles Edward Raynal was a native of Savannah, Georgia, the son 
of Pierre Napoleon Raynal and Rebecca Anna Girardeau Raynal. 
Pierre was a native of France and had come to America for a tour with 
his sister, their uncle and grandmother. When it was time to return to 
France, Pierre announced that he liked America and was going to stay 
despite his family's objections. He found his new home with the 
French Huguenots who had settled in Liberty County, Georgia in the 
early 18th century. After the Civil War, Pierre married Rebecca Anna 
Girardeau, member of a prominent Huguenot family, and they estab- 
lished a home in Savannah. Their son, Charles Edward Raynal was 
born March 17, 1877. While he was still a boy the family moved to 
Bessemer, Alabama where they lived until after Charles completed his 

It was at the Bessemer Presbyterian Church that he made a profes- 
sion of faith on August 9, 1893. He received his early education from 
teachers who conducted private schools in that community. Pierre 
Raynal, probably as a result of his French upbringing, was convinced 
that every man should know a trade even if he were going to business 
or a profession. Young Charles was apprenticed to a master cabinet 
builder where he learned the care and use of woodworking tools, the 
building and finishing of fine furniture, and a love for the craft which 
continued through his life. He used to tell the story of going to say 
goodbye to his old master before leaving to enter college. He said, 
"Well I hear you are going to college and study to become a minister." 
"Yes," the young man replied. "Well Charlie, all I can say is that you 
are going to spoil a damn fine cabinet maker to make a damn poor 
preacher." Those who were members of his congregations in later 
years would not agree with the old man's prophecy concerning his 
preaching, but a number of homes in Statesville still proudly display 
examples of Charles Raynal's fine woodwork. 

For college Raynal went to Southwestern Presbyterian University 
in Clarksville, Tennessee (now Rhodes College, Memphis, Term.). He 


completed his undergraduate work at Southwestern in 1901 and 
entered the theological seminary which was a part of the University, 
receiving his divinity degree in two years. The next year he went to 
Princeton University and Princeton Seminary for post-graduate study 
at the time Woodrow Wilson was president of the University. While 
he was at Princeton, young Raynal gained his admiration of Wilson 
which grew to outspoken support of the President during World War 
I and the fight for the League of Nations. 

After completing his formal education he accepted an invitation to 
return to his home presbytery to become the assistant of Dr. John Wel- 
don Stagg, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. 
North Alabama Presbytery examined and approved him and on Octo- 
ber 24, 1904 ordained Charles Edward Raynal to the gospel ministry. 
He had a place to live in the city but, being an only child and quite 
aware of how much he had been away in the previous seven years, he 
frequently stayed in his parents' home in Bessemer, a few miles south 
of Birmingham. 

For three years he was the assistant pastor of the Birmingham Pres- 
byterian Church. In the latter part of that time he received inquiries 
from several churches wanting him to consider undertaking the pas- 
torates of their congregations but he declined. In the summer of 1906 
he received a call from the St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, 
N.C. Dr. Stagg knew Charlotte from his years leading the Second Pres- 
byterian Church there. St. Paul had been an outgrowth from Second 
Church. He encouraged his assistant to accept the call, speaking high- 
ly of North Carolina, of Charlotte, and of the St. Paul Church in par- 
ticular. With the support of Dr. Stagg, he did decide to move to the 
Synod of North Carolina and informed St. Paul of his intention to 
accept their call. On October 11, 1906 Charles E. Raynal was installed 
by a commission of Mecklenburg Presbytery as the Pastor of St. Paul 
Presbyterian Church. His parents moved to Charlotte with him. 

In his new community he found a group of young Presbyterian 
ministers with whom he established close friendships which lasted 
through their lives. Frank Dudley Jones, pastor of Westminster 
Church, was to become the father of the wife of his son, Charles 
E. Raynal, Jr. Henry Middleton Parker, pastor of Providence and 
Banks Churches, would later move to Statesville as pastor of Front 
Street and Little Joe's Churches. Archie A. McGeachy served the Sec- 
ond Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. These three with C. E. Raynal 
formed ties which were continued through visits and correspondence. 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 181 

On occasion they vacationed together long after they shared their min- 
istry to the people of Charlotte. 

Two months after Raynal came to Statesville he was married to 
Mary Graham Morrison of Charlotte. She was a descendant of Robert 
Hall Morrison, the first president of Davidson College. Dudley Jones 
was the groom's best man, and the service was conducted by his 
friends McGeachy and Parker. The congregation sent a handsome sil- 
ver service as a wedding present to their new pastor and his bride. 
In early November after a honeymoon trip they established their 
home in the manse on the corner of Kelly Street and West End Avenue. 
On December 5th the Session received two new members, their pas- 
tor's wife, Mrs. Mary Morrison Raynal from the Mackpelah Church in 
Lincoln County and his mother, Mrs. Rebecca Anna Raynal, from the 
St. Paul Church. His father had died while he was still a pastor in 

In the first years of this pastorate the stone wall around the Fourth 
Creek Cemetery came to be a matter of concern to the church. The 
cemetery property had belonged to the congregation since it had been 
deeded to them in 1758 by Fergus Sloan, eighteen years before he sold 
them the property on which the church stands and twenty-one years 
before the town of Statesville was laid out. In the mid 1890s some of 
the town officials had approached the church offering to remove the 
stone wall and replace it with an iron fence. There seems to have been 
little or no sentiment within the congregation to make this change, 
and the matter did not go beyond discussion at a Session meeting. 
Again in 1911 the officers were approached by the city authorities. At 

i a joint meeting of the Session and Board of Deacons Dr. M. R. Adams 
reported that they were willing "to place a good and substantial iron 
fence around the cemetery in exchange for the rock in (the) present 

i stone wall surrounding it." 5 The wall was rough and at places along 
the back side had fallen until it was as wide as it was tall, but having 
been laid up by their pioneer ancestors it was treasured as a memori- 
al to them. Some members remembered their fathers telling of help- 
ing to construct part of the wall when it was extended to the west. 
Decorative iron fences such as that surrounding Congregation 
Emmanuel next to the old cemetery were popular at the time, and the 
proposed change was probably seen as an "improvement", as well 
as supplying the town with an easily available supply of stone which 
could be crushed and used in road building. The officers however 
were unanimous in declining this offer from the town and named a 


committee composed of Dr. M. R. Adams, R. R. Clark, R. B. McLaugh- 
lin, W. W. Turner and E. B. Watts to "take up the matter of restoring 
the wall out of the stone now in it." Their reason for naming the com- 
mittee was stated: "The descendants of people buried there and our 
own congregation, the sentiment of these officers being that the wall 
should and must be restored." 6 

The minutes of this same meeting show the first mention of con- 
sideration of plans looking towards erection of a new church building. 
Elder J. A. Brady proposed that they begin to prepare for building a 
new church "in the near future" by promoting purchase of Building 
and Loan shares for this purpose by members of the congregation. 
Action was not taken on this suggestion but some individuals did 
open savings accounts which they reserved for this purpose. 

There had not been a directory of the church showing the officers, 
leaders of the organizations in the church, nor a roll of the members 
printed and distributed since 1886. The Session recognized that some 
work had been done in preparing a new one and, in June 1910, named 
Elders S. W. Stimson and M. R. Adams, asking the Deacons to name 
three persons to work with them to complete a new directory and to 
have it printed. The "Manual of First Presbyterian Church, Statesville, 
N. C." was published in August 1911. 

The 1911 Directory gives us a picture of the church in the opening 
years of Charles E. Raynal's pastorate. The roll of members shows five 
hundred and nineteen persons with their addresses. All but forty-two 
were residents of Statesville or its outskirts. The Elders listed were: 
R. H. Rickert, Clerk of Session; Prof. J. H. Hill, S. W. Stimson, Dr. 
M. R. Adams, J. P. Bradley, J. C. Steele, F. A. Sherrill, J. A. Vaughan, and 
C. M. Steele. The Board of Deacons consisted of W. W. Turner, Chair- 
man; J. B. Gill, Treasurer; W. F. Hall, Secretary; and Deacons Logan 
Stimson, J. A. Brady, J. T. Montgomery, E. B. Watts, J. R. Hill, W J. Pos- 
ton, C. H. Summers, and J. E. Sloop. At a congregational meeting on 
February 5, 1911 J. A. Vaughan and C. M. Steele were elected to 
become members of the Session and were ordained on the last Sunday 
of that month. Since they had both been deacons, it was decided to 
elect two to replace them on the Diaconate. J. E. Sloop and C. H. Sum- 
mers received a majority of all votes cast and were elected. 

There continued to be three women's organizations: the Ladies' 
Foreign Missionary Society, with Mrs. J. A. Scott as President, the 
Ladies' Home Missionary Society whose President was Mrs. M. R. 
Adams, and the Ladies' Aid Society, headed by Mrs. Leonard White. 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 183 

Youth work was carried on in separate groups for girls — the Junior 
order of the Miriams, and for boys — the Covenanters. There was a 
Senior order of the Miriams which was probably an outgrowth from 
the Girl's Foreign Missionary Society at the College. Officers for these 
groups are listed: Miriams, Senior order — Mrs. Furches Troutman, 
Miss Anne Bell Walton, Miss Mary Waugh; Miriams Junior order — 
Miss K'Lee Steele; Covenanters — John Clarke and Minor Adams. 

One page in the Manual is given to listing the "allotments" pro- 
posed by the Presbytery for various benevolence causes of the church. 
The largest amounts were listed for three causes: Foreign Missions 
$500.00, Home Missions $615.00, and the Orphans Home $500.00, with 
lesser amounts for nine other causes making a suggested total for 
benevolences of $2,090.00. The offerings for local expenses, including 
the pastor's salary, were kept separately from benevolence giving. 
From the time of Dr. Wood's pastorate, the church had followed a reg- 
ular schedule for benevolence offerings: the first Sunday of each 
month gifts were assigned to Foreign Missions, on second Sundays to 
Home Missions, on third Sundays to Barium Springs Orphans Home, 
and on fourth Sundays to Statesville College and other church causes. 

This printing of the amounts requested for all causes was a prepa- 
ration for asking the people to give to the overall work of the church, 
local and worldwide. Some causes had been neglected while more 
popular ones received a disproportionate share. In the next year the 
officers decided to adopt the "Budget System" for First Presbyterian 
Church so that over a year's time the gifts could be assigned in such a 
way as to meet the full responsibility of the church and would have 
a more fair distribution. In adopting a budget for 1912-13 the officers 
included $1,700.00 to go towards paying the debt of Statesville Female 
College. The Minutes record that three officers voted against the pro- 
posal. We do not know whether they were opposed to the procedure 
of having a budget or were against the church subscribing towards 
helping pay the college's debt. In any case, from this time on adoption 
of a budget for the church was an annual undertaking of the officers 
prior to its being presented to the congregation for their support. 

The Barium Springs Home for Children, the orphans home of the 
Synod of North Carolina, was a major object of support by the 
Statesville Presbyterian Churches. The Synod recommended that an 
offering for this cause be received in the churches at Thanksgiving, 
and First Church made such a collection each fall. The present writer 
remembers that in his childhood the Sunday School offering on the 


fourth Sunday of each month was assigned to Barium Springs. He is 
unsure when this practice was begun or ceased, but it seems to have 
been a carryover from the earlier custom of appointing different Sun- 
days to receive offerings for specific benevolence causes. 

The church had been strong in support of the spread of the Gospel 
to foreign lands and now took another step in that support. In Novem- 
ber 1911 the members of the congregation subscribed $1,000.00 in 
order that they might support their own Missionary Pastor. They 
requested the Committee on Foreign Missions of the denomination to 
assign a missionary to Korea as their Foreign Pastor. The Committee 
agreed to their request and named the Rev. Joseph Kenton Parker to 
receive the support of First Presbyterian Church, Statesville. Mr. Park- 
er was a recent graduate of Union Seminary, Richmond and was 
preparing for ordination before leaving for Korea. In April Mr. and 
Mrs. Parker and their year-old son spent a Sunday in Statesville. He 
preached both morning and evening and met with the Session and 
received their endorsement. 

In 1912 two more young men were added to the list of candidates 
for the ministry from this church. Legh R. Scott, son of President John 
A. Scott of Statesville Female College, was recommended to Concord 
Presbytery by the Session on August 18th and entered Union Semi- 
nary that fall. After ordination he ministered to churches in Valdosta, 
GA, Goldsboro, NC and Rome, GA. He continued to be well known 
in the congregation from his family's annual visits to see his mother 
and Scott kin in Statesville. Minutes of their October 12th meeting 
record the Session's approval of "the action of the Pastor in recom- 
mending Mr. Archie Gibbs as a suitable man for the Gospel min- 
istry. "7 The Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church does not 
include an Archie Gibbs but the one endorsed was perhaps the Wyly 
Parks Gibbs mentioned in the previous chapter who had been a stu- 
dent at the Statesville Male Academy before entering Davidson Col- 
lege and then receiving his theological degree at Union Theological 
Seminary in 1913. 

A classmate of Legh Scott at Davidson and Union Seminary was 
John Harper Brady from this congregation. After his ordination in 
1915 he returned to Concord Presbytery as the pastor of 5th Creek, 
Elmwood, and Bethesda Churches. In 1917 he was appointed by the 
Committee on Foreign Missions as an evangelistic missionary to 
Japan. He served in Japan until 1941 when our denomination's work 
in Japan was closed after the Pearl Harbor attack. In July 1917 a recep- 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 185 

tion was held, sponsored jointly by the Church and the College, hon- 
oring the Bradys before they left for Japan. Thus a son of the church 
became "our Foreign Pastor", and Foreign Missionary offerings from 
this congregation were assigned to support the Bradys. After World 
War II their son, John Harper Brady, Jr. returned to Japan as business 
manager of the Japan Mission. Thus he could be counted as a grand- 
son of the Statesville church in full-time church service. 

The congregation was delighted at the news of the birth of twin 
sons to their pastor and his wife. Charles Girardeau Raynal and Hall 
Morrison Raynal were born on November 27, 1912. But the immedi- 
ate joy was soon turned to sorrow. Little Charles lived only eleven 
days, dying on December 9th. Two days later Mary Graham Raynal 
died from complications developing out of childbirth. The other twin 
lived only three days more. Thus in a week their pastor lost his wife 
of only three years and both his sons. The congregation rallied round 
him in his loss and made him know the love they had gained for their 
pastor in the short time he had been with them. 

Shortly after Mr. Raynal came to Statesville there was a change in 
the congregation's worship. From the time of the establishment of the 
church, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper had been observed with 
the wine being served to the communicants in "common cups". Some 
older churches still own the large pewter or silver goblets which were 
used when that was the practice. In the early days the communicants 
came forward where they were handed a goblet from which they took 
a sip of the wine. When it became the practice to serve the people at 
their pews, the goblets were handed to the persons seated next to the 
aisle by an elder and passed hand to hand to those sitting in that pew. 
About the turn of the century some churches began using small glass- 
es for each person rather than the traditional common cup. In October 
1908 the Ladies Aid Society sent a request to the Session "asking the 
privilege of providing individual wine-cups for use in the Commu- 
nion Service if the Session approves of the change." 8 The matter was 
discussed but a decision was postponed. There was sentiment on the 
Session against changing from the practice as it had been observed by 
their fathers, but some seem to have continued to promote the more 
modern way. Six months after Dr. Richards left and before Mr. Raynal 
was called, the Session appointed a committee to confer with the 
Ladies Aid on using individual communion cups. Existent records do 
not show a report of the committee's work, but sometime in the next 
couple of years the change was made and the new wooden commu- 


nion trays with small glasses were secured. The minutes for July 25, 
1915 report: "The Ladies Aid Society was given authority to dispose 
of the old communion set, or part of it, if it is not used by the church 
as they deemed best." 9 The old cups may have been given to one of 
the newer congregations which had been organized in the Presbytery, 
to another church which did not have a set of its own, or, perhaps, 
sold by the Ladies Aid to help pay for the new set. In any case that is 
the reason that Statesville First Presbyterian does not have its old com- 
munion set displayed now as many of the early churches do. During 
the Great Depression of the 1930s several of the small county church- 
es brought their old pewter communion sets to Dr. Raynal hoping that 
he could find a purchaser for them to help meet their current expens- 
es. He did not want these old treasures to pass from the ownership 
of the congregations where they had been used and strongly encour- 
aged them to keep their old sets as a part of their heritage. For sever- 
al years sets from two churches were kept on top of a bookcase in the 
study at the Kelly Street Manse until Dr. Raynal could persuade them 
to preserve the irreplaceable artifacts as treasures from their past. 

The smaller churches in the county looked to Statesville First for 
assistance in meeting their responsibilities. In addition to funds 
assigned to General Assembly and Synod Home Missions, the budget 
of the church was expanded to help them. The Minutes for March 10, 
1914 report: 

"The Pastor strongly urged the duty of our Church to help the old coun- 
try churches, reasoning on the fact that we owed growth largely to the 
members of these old churches moving into town and building up our 
church and weakening the old country churches. We ought to give them 
not only our prayers but also our money to help them secure good 
strong men for their pastors." 10 

Through the years since Front Street Church was organized, First 
Church had continued to support that work, assisting in funding their 
building and addition, helping pay the rent for Front Street's manse 
and aiding them in paying the salary for a minister to serve both Front 
Street and Little Joe's. Now, a regular item in the budget came to be an 
assignment to "Country Churches." Among those helped through this 
offering were Bethany, Fifth Creek, Bethesda, and Elmwood. 

While Dr. Scott was the President of Statesville Female College mem- 
bers of his family helped in carrying on the school. Mrs. Scott was in 
charge of the boarding department. Two of his daughters were on the 
faculty Mary Scott taught music, and Margaret Scott was the instructor 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 187 

in art. Through the family's involvement with the church and Mr. Ray- 
nal's participation in the activities of the college close ties of friendship 
were formed. On Thursday evening, July 13, 1914, Margaret Mayo Scott 
married Charles Edward Raynal. The service was conducted at the col- 
lege by the bride's father. The account of the wedding in The Landmark 
reports the guests present: "members of the Wednesday Afternoon 
Club, the officers of the First Presbyterian Church and their families and 
the teachers of the Primary Department of the Presbyterian Sunday 
School." 11 After a reception held on the front porch of the college build- 
ing, the couple went by train to the North Carolina mountains for their 
honeymoon trip. It was that same year that Davidson College conferred 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon Charles E. Raynal. 

In 1917 the church received the largest number of new members it 
had added in any previous year. Earlier the church had held weeks of 
special services, with visiting ministers preaching at both Sunday ser- 
vices and on each evening of the following week. After Mr. Raynal 
came to Statesville the former pastor, C. M. Richards, and the pastor's 
friend from Charlotte, A. A. McGeachy, had been the visiting preach- 
ers for these occasions. In July 1917 the Session agreed to invite the 
Rev. James E. Thacker from Norfolk, Virginia to come and hold an 
evangelistic meeting. Mr. Thacker was an evangelist serving under the 
auspices of the General Assembly. He agreed to come and on Wednes- 
day, November 14th began his meeting here. The services continued 
for two and a half weeks and had impact on both the church and the 
community. In those days the church received sixty-nine persons on 
profession of faith and twenty-four on letter of transfer from other 
churches. The annual report to Presbytery shows a total of one hun- 
dred and seven receptions for that year. 

Events occurring in Europe were to have a major impact on the 
church through the next five years. The Great War had broken out in 
the summer of 1914 and soon most of the continent was engaged in 
the struggle. The first record of the church's involvement is found in 
the minutes of the Session in April 1915 when a special offering was 
ordered "for the needy people of Belgium." The little country had 
been overrun by the German armies in their drive against France, and 
many of the atrocities committed by the invaders received wide pub- 
licity. President Wilson had declared neutrality, but events which fol- 
lowed moved the United States to the place where at last our nation 
entered the conflict in April 1917. The whole country was enlisted in 
the service war effort, (see Appendix) Councils of Defense were 


appointed in each county. Members of the Council for Iredell County 
included F. A. Sherrill and Pastor C. E. Raynal. They were given 
instructions from the Governor to enlist fifty men from the county to 
form the Twenty-ninth Company, North Carolina Reserve Militia. 

Dr. Raynal's support of the war effort was not confined to service 
on the local Defense Council. He was named by the federal govern- 
ment as one of the "Four Minute Men" for the state of North Caroli- 
na. The aim of this group was to promote the sale of War Savings 
Stamps and Bonds. The state director was Col. F. N. Fries and Dr. Ray- 
nal accepted appointment as district chairman for sixteen counties 
with a goal of $10,000,000. In four months he visited twenty-eight 
counties, speaking at most of the colleges in the state in promotion of 
the War Bond Drives. He became known as "War Stamps" Raynal and 
the newspaper published an article calling him "Iredell County's Sec- 
ond Fighting Parson". The first was James Hall who while pastor of 
Fourth Creek had recruited the members of the Presbyterian Church- 
es in this area for the American Revolution and then gone forth with 
them as Chaplain /Captain. 

As a result of his conscientious service on the Council of Defense 
and the sale of War Bonds, he was asked to help recruit volunteers to 
serve with the Y.M.C.A. in operation of their program in the mili- 
tary camps. The need for more workers had grown greatly as the 
camps were expanded after institution of the draft. During World 
War I much of the work carried on by the U.S.O. during the war of 
the 1940s was done by the Y.M.C.A. In talking to others about this 
opportunity he could not help but think of the young men from his 
own congregation who had left home for military service. He came 
to the conviction that he should offer himself in this work he was urg- 
ing others to consider. 

He asked the officers to meet with him at the manse. He told them 
of the call he felt to go to the troops in their encampments and serve 
them. He proposed asking the congregation for a six month leave of 
absence to undertake this work with the assurance that if after six 
months his country still needed him, he would resign the pastorate. 
Some of those present were ready to endorse their pastor's request 
that night, but he asked them not to take any action for at least anoth- 
er week so they could consider his request seriously and in prayer. On 
the next Sunday morning he told the congregation of his desire and 
asked them to meet a week later to decide on his proposal. 

In the interval between the meeting with the officers and the 

Pastor Charles E. Raynal, D.D. 189 

announcement to the congregation, the elders and deacons held an 
informal meeting to discuss the course they should recommend to the 
congregation. A majority wished to endorse their pastor's request and 
a motion was adopted, but there was opposition. When a vote was 
taken the result was eleven in favor and six against. On Sunday, June 
2, 1918 Dr. Raynal made a full report to the congregation emphasizing 
that he had hoped for full support from the officers. Though his 
request had been approved by a majority, he did not feel he could con- 
tinue to serve the church since his request had caused a split in the 
heretofore united bodies of the Session and Board of Deacons. He 
therefore tendered his resignation as pastor of Statesville First Pres- 
byterian Church and asked the congregation to meet the following 
Sunday to act on his resignation. 

The news of Dr. Raynal's resignation spread rapidly and was 
reported in full in The Landmark, with extensive quotes from the state- 
ment he had made to the people. A week later the Statesville Sentinel 
featured a front page article, "Dr. Raynal's Resignation Declined". A 
resolution prepared by Judge B. F. Long and adopted unanimously 
declined to accept their pastor's resignation, approved his request for 
six months leave and declared: 

"We wish to express our conviction that there is no service we can ren- 
der our young soldiers in the army likely to be more helpful and com- 
forting to them, at this time, than to send to their companionship and 
assistance, the pastor of our church, whose heart is devoted to our 
cause, and who is so willing to consecrate all his powers to the moral 
and spiritual welfare of our young men in the army." 13 

In addition the resolution stated the intention to continue his salary 
during the time of his leave and expressed their desire to have him 
return "that we may have him again to serve us with the same ability, 
efficiency and fidelity as he has done in the past." 

On the next Sunday, June 16th, Dr. Raynal reported that, in view 
of the action of the congregation, he was withdrawing his resignation 
and would accept their approval of six months leave to work with the 
Y.M.C.A. He said that he would not go until after he had completed 
the work in which he was engaged and on behalf of the State Com- 
mittee on War Savings. He secured a passport in order that he could 
go with the troops to France, but the war ended before he was called 
to this service. 

Only a few months before the United States entered the war the 
congregation had elected additional officers to serve on the Session 


and Board of Deacons. On February 18, 1917, J. A. Brady, W. F. Hall, 
J. T. Montgomery, J. M. Moore, and W. F. Moore were chosen to be 
elders. Three of these men had previously been deacons. The congre- 
gation was called to meet the following Sunday to elect deacons, but 
bad weather caused the election to be delayed for a week. On March 
4 they did convene and elected W. L. Gilbert, Dr. L. O. Gibson, H. L. 
Kincaid, W. H. Morrison, R. L. Poston, R. M. Rickert, John A. Scott, 
and Karl Sherrill. 

There were three other times when Dr. Raynal gave serious consid- 
eration to leaving the Statesville Church. In January 1916, he received 
a call to become pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Frankfort, Ken- 
tucky. He reported to the officers that he had the call under consider- 
ation, but a very strong statement of support adopted by them and 
delivered into his hands by the entire body, was influential in helping 
him make the decision not to take the call. He later declined calls from 
the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, the congregation serving the 
University of North Carolina community, and from the First Presby- 
terian Church of Kansas City, Missouri. He had found in Statesville 
people whom he loved, officers who were loyal to their church, and 
a community that suited his disposition, and here he would remain 
for the rest of his ministry. 

Footnotes to Chapter XVII 

1. Session Book III - Minutes, November 1, 1908 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. - Minutes, May 23, 1909 

4. Letter, Charles E. Raynal to J. H. Hill, June 30, 1909 

5. Session Book IV - Minutes, July 7, 1911 

6. Ibid. 

7. Session Book IV - Minutes, October 12, 1912 

8. Session Book III - op. cit. - Minutes, October 18, 1908 

9. Session Book IV - op. cit. - Minutes, July 25, 1914 

10. Ibid. - Minutes, March 10, 1914 

11. The Landmark - July 14, 1914 

12. Statesville Sentinel - June 10, 1918 

13. Session Book IV - op. cit. - Congregational Minutes - June 9, 1918 

Chapter Eighteen 

The 1924 Building 

When the soldiers returned after the close of the war, the men 
of the congregation held a banquet honoring "our soldier 
boys" which was served by the ladies of the church using 
facilities at the College. Session Minutes report: "The evening was 
enjoyed by a large number of male members." The church continued its 
concern for the former servicemen and others of their age by establish- 
ing a Young Men's Bible Class in the Sunday School. This group came 
to be one of the strongest in the church and was active in every forward- 
looking step the church took. For a few years the Sunday School records 
report a "Young Men's Class" and an "Older Men's Class. However, 
in only a few years, all the men were attracted to the more active body. 
They continued to keep the name as the "Young Men's" class long after 
the original members were in their sixties or older. 

For the first few months the class met in the church building, but 
space there was at a premium so the young men looked for an alternate 
place to gather. On the north-west corner of the church lot there was a 
plain frame building, about twenty by forty feet, built in 1917. It had 
electricity and was heated by a stove. This became known as "the Hut" 
and was assigned to the Young Men's Class for their Sunday morning 
class meetings. The members of the class felt freer in these facilities, 
and the class grew attracting others who had not been participating 
in Sunday School. Other groups were allowed to use this space when 
it was not needed by the men. Records show young people's and 
women's meetings there. The Hut continued to be used until it was 
moved at the time of the erection of the present church building. 

As has been noted in the previous chapter, J. A. Brady, the Sunday 
School Superintendent, had urged the erection of a new church as 
early as 1911. He continued to be an advocate for expansion of the 
church's facilities. As Sunday School Superintendent he had been 
aware of the need for more space and had supported the movement 
which resulted in erection of the Hut. Brady held the position of 


superintendent until the summer of 1920 when he resigned in order 
to make a trip to Japan to visit his son John Harper. At that time 
R. M. Gray was named to replace him as Superintendent. 

The need for a new building continued to be a matter of concern 
to the leaders of the church. In March of 1921 a proposal to erect a Sun- 
day School addition attached to the old building was discussed at 
length. When the Session considered this proposal all the officers 
expressed the opinion that additional space for the Sunday School was 
needed, but their minutes report, "even so it is considered best not to 
attempt to proceed this year." 1 

The delay worked out to the benefit of the church. Earlier plans 
called for erection of an addition. The next year, sentiment grew for a 
more ambitious project, replacing the 1892 building with a new 
church. Elder N. B. Mills was the leader of a group that investigated 
the needs. They proposed erection of a new building and suggested 
plans for raising the funds that would be necessary. A joint meeting of 
the Session and Board of Deacons heard the recommendations and 
had a lengthy discussion covering all parts of the proposal. Both bod- 
ies endorsed Mr. Mills' report, and the Session called a congregation- 
al meeting to hear and act upon it. 

The congregation met Sunday, July 9, 1922. Mr. Mills explained the 
plan to raise $200,000. for a new building. Speaking in approval of the 
idea of moving to erect a new church were Dr. M. A. Adams, F. A. Sher- 
rill, C. M. Steele, John A. Scott, Jr. and Mrs. Minnie Eliason. When a vote 
was taken, the congregation agreed unanimously to proceed. The next 
Sunday the Session appointed a committee composed of D. J. Craig, 
C. M. Steele, J. A. Scott, Jr., Mayor L. B. Bristol, P. F. Kennedy, and F. A. 
Sherrill to assist Mr. Mills in carrying the plans forward. 

The committee secured the best advice they could obtain on what 
sort of building was needed and contacted architects to make pro- 
posals. They reported their progress to the congregation, and their 
work was divided into two committees, with some of their responsi- 
bilities continuing under a Building Committee composed of 
N. B. Mills, C. M. Steele, C. V. Henkle, J. G. Montgomery, and Dalton 
Kennedy. An expanded Finance Committee was named by the con- 
gregation composed of seventeen members: F. A. Sherrill, chairman; 
John A. Scott, Jr., secretary; J. R. Hill, treasurer; D. J. Craig, J. E. Sloop, 
J. A. Brady, Fred Slane, F. H. Deaton, Fred W. Sherrill, O. M. Marvin, 
L. B. Bristol, R. E. McElwee, R. L. Poston, H. O. Steele, J. B. Hall, and 
H. L. Kincaid. 

The 1924 Building 193 

By January 1924 the committees were ready to report and to make 
their recommendations to the congregation. A design submitted by 
Charles C. Hook of Charlotte, architect, was approved. The Deacons 
were instructed as Trustees for the congregation to sign a contract to 
erect the building with J. P. Little & Son of Charlotte, one of the five 
builders submitting bids, and to engage Charles W. Christian to install 
the heating plant. The resolutions which were adopted instructed the 
Building Committee to have the old building removed, salvaging such 
materials and equipment as would be useful in the new church. The 
Finance Committee reported that subscriptions for the new building 
had been made in the amount of $239,600. In addition, other gifts of 
$2,765. had been received in the week before the congregation met. 

In the Heritage Room are several snapshots showing the ruins of 
the old building as it was being dismantled. One shows a man stand- 
ing on a pile of rubble after the walls had been knocked down. Anoth- 
er shows only the steeple left standing and to the right the granite 
monument to W. A. Wood which still stands in the churchyard. A third 
picture is of the steeple after a charge of dynamite has been set off and 
the steeple is falling. In the period between the removal of the old 
church and the completion of the new, the congregation met for wor- 
ship in two places, sometimes in Shearer Hall at the college and other 
times in the synagogue of Congregation Emmanuel, again made avail- 
able to them by their Jewish neighbors. 

When the weather permitted that spring after the lot was cleared 
the builders started construction. By summer work had progressed to 
the point that they could lay the cornerstone of the new First Presby- 
terian Church. On Thursday morning, July 17th the congregation 
gathered at their traditional place of worship. Pastor Raynal read I 
Chronicles 29:10-18, David's prayer at the building of the Jerusalem 
temple. Franklin Riker of New York City sang "How Lovely Are Thy 
Dwellings". Then the Clerk of Session F. A. Sherrill led in prayer and 
read a list of the articles being placed in the copper box in the corner- 
stone. The next Sunday The Statesville Daily reported on the occasion 
and included a report of the contents: 

"A list with the names of the architect, Charles C. Hook; of the contrac- 
tor, John P. Little & Son; of the building superintendent Raymond Booth 
and of all the workmen who had a part in the construction; names of 
the Building and Finance Committees; an old copy of the Bible; a copy 
of the Shorter Catechism; The Landmark of 1890; The Landmark of July 
14, 1924; The Statesville Daily of July 16, 1924; The Statesville Sentinel 


of July 16, 1924; a copy of the Presbyterian Standard; the roll of the offi- 
cers and members of the church; Dr. Archibald Henderson's address on 
James Hall; the program of the 30th anniversary of Dr. William A. 
Wood's ministry; a volume from Dr. Wood's library; a picture of 
Mitchell College; pictures of the last two church buildings." 2 

After reading the list, Mr. Sherrill placed the copper box in its nitch 
and the stone was laid with N. B. Mills pronouncing the words of ded- 
ication. The congregation sang "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord", and Dr. 
Raynal pronounced the Benediction. 

It had been necessary to secure some small pieces of land in order 
to extend the church property and to straighten the line to provide for 
a driveway that would run around the back and the south side of the 
new building. Some property was secured by a donation from L. N. 
Bristol and others were purchased or swaped from landowners whose 
homes faced Kelly Street. As the workmen were grading the roadbed 
for the new driveway, they had to remove some earth at the corner 
where the right angle turn was to be. As they dug they were surprised 
to run into an old grave. Work was stopped immediately and they 
called Dr. Raynal to inform him of their discovery. He came down at 
once, and the concerned area was blocked off until a decision was 
made on what should be done. The pastor was aware of a small fam- 
ily cemetery existing somewhere in that area that had been given 
many years before to the church. At one time there had been a fence 
around the cemetery, but it no longer existed. By 1924 none in the 
church knew its exact bounds. The architect's drawing illustrated the 
site of the new building and the driveway on the property. It showed 
the location of the cemetery as just south of the proposed driveway. 
The cemetery had belonged to the family of Samuel Hart (1756-1832), 
a Revolutionary War veteran. Dr. Raynal knew that when the prop- 
erty had been given to the church it was on the condition that if ever 
the graves of Hart or his two wives were disturbed, the property 
would revert to his heirs. At once he contacted J. Edgar Deitz and John 
A. Brady, who were descendants of Samuel Hart, and informed them 
that they had the right to reclaim the property. Deitz and Brady con- 
tacted those of the kin they knew, and all agreed that the little ceme- 
tery should not be reclaimed from the church. The remains of Samuel 
Hart consisting of some bones, pieces of his uniform and brass buttons 
were recovered tarefully and, with the agreement of the family, 
reburied in the old Fourth Creek Cemetery. 3 Hart's granddaughter 
and great grandchildren secured a tombstone which was placed over 

The 1924 Building 195 

the grave with the inscription: "Samuel Hart Soldier of the Revolu- 
tionary War". A thorough search was made for any other graves in the 
plot, particularly those of Hart's wives, but no other remains were 
found. With the descendants' approval, the driveway was completed 
as planned. The location of the Hart cemetery was about where the 
present driveway passes the McGeachy Educational Building. 

When the new church was completed the Hut would no longer be 
needed and discussion was carried on by both the Session and the 
Diaconate as to its disposition. At a Session meeting in March it was 
decided to sell the Hut after the new building was completed. At this 
same meeting action was taken naming a committee "to investigate 
procuring a place for Sunday School and prayer service in Eastern 
Statesville." 4 In the immediately preceeding years the Session had 
considered two similar projects, one to investigate establishing an out- 
post on North Center Street and the other a place in the Diamond Hill 
area, but neither of these had proved viable. The committee, with the 
assistance of the Rev. John M. Clark, superintendent of Home Mis- 
sions for Concord Presbytery, decided that such a work should be 
undertaken and recommended starting an outpost Sunday School in 
that area of town. This was established as the Park Place Sunday 
School and continued as an outpost of First Presbyterian for the next 
twentyfive years. Sale of the Hut was discussed by the Diaconate 
through the fall of 1924, but in March 1925 the decision was made to 
move it to Park Place for use of the outpost. Elders Brady and Mont- 
gomery were appointed to cooperate with James Hall in accomplish- 
ing its removal. The men themselves did the moving. The jacked up 
building was lowered onto rollers, and with a team of horses it was 
moved down Broad. Street and placed on a lot near the corner of Broad 
and Oakwood Streets, owned by F. A. Sherrill. In its new location the 
Hut was used by the Park Place Mission until the work there was dis- 
continued as a result of World War II. 

As the new church was being erected it became necessary to secure 
some additional funds to meet payments due to the builder and for 
equipment. A congregational meeting by a unanimous vote autho- 
rized the borrowing of not more than $75,000. for this purpose. The 
loan was secured with the deacons borrowing $65,000. at 5% interest 
with payments to be made over ten years. Regular payments were 
made semiannually until the depression of the 1930s. At that time the 
church was unable to meet its obligations on the building debt on time 
and, with the cooperation of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance 


Company, from whom the money had been borrowed, were able to 
extend the terms of the loan until it could be paid in full. 

In addition to the generous gifts made by so many of First Presbyter- 
ian's members and friends to accomplish the dream of having the hand- 
some new building, there were several special memorial gifts which 
have added greatly to the worship of the congregation. A magnificent 
Casavant organ, recognized as one of the finest instruments installed in 
the South, was given by the children of James C. Steele and Dora Mont- 
gomery Steele in their memory. A set of tower chimes made by Deagan 
of Chicago was mounted in its own enclosure atop the church, a gift of 
O. W. Slane honoring his parents, John E. Slane and Anna C. Slane. The 
chimes were played from a small keyboard in the choir loft. 

The influence of Mr. Charles E. Mills in selecting and securing these 
gifts cannot be overstated. He had been a member of the choir since 
1882 and Director of Music for most of the years since. As a member 
of the choir he had participated in raising the thousand dollars with 
which the first pipe organ had been secured about 1890. This organ 
had been moved into the 1893 building and used ever since. In 1915 
Mr. Mills donated half the cost of providing an Estes Organ for Shear- 
er Hall at Mitchell College. Through the years, as he had traveled to 
cities throughout the country on business, he visited the great 
churches, becoming acquainted with the musicians, instruments, and 
music performed there. His ambition was to raise the quality of the 
music available in his little North Carolina town. When the congre- 
gation moved to erect a new church, he undertook to secure the best 
possible organ for use in it. Through his research he was convinced 
that the finest organ builders on this continent were the Casavant 
Brothers of St. Hyacinth^, Canada, and he led to the selection of this 
firm to build the new organ. Specifications were drawn up for an 
instrument with 32 stops and 2,250 pipes. (In contrast to the 6 stops 
and 360 pipes in the old organ.) Mr. Mills made two or three trips to 
Canada while the organ was being constructed to assure himself that 
the construction was proceeding properly. When M. Bourgeous of 
Casavant Brothers came to Statesville to do the installation, Mills over- 
saw every step, making daily visits to assure himself that his dream 
was being properly carried out. Two additions were made to the organ 
as originally ordered. Mr. Mills had Casavant to incorporate "Harp" 
and "Celeste" stops which he paid for and dedicated to the memory 
of his wife, Lula C. Mills. The chimes within the organ were dedicat- 
ed in memory of Ardrey W. Barringer by his family in 1946. 

The 1924 Building 197 

When the former church was cleared away to prepare for the new 
construction, the old pipe organ had been removed carefully. It was 
sold to the Pressley Memorial Associate Reformed Presbyterian 
Church and mounted in their sanctuary. The new organ was dedicat- 
ed on July 26, 1924. Mr. Mills directed a choir of sixteen voices, and the 
guest organist at both morning and evening services was Dr. Charles 
G. Vardell of the faculty of Salem College . He was the first of many 
artists who came to play this superb instrument. Some held concerts 
to which the public was invited, others having heard of this organ 
came to visit for the specific purpose of spending some time playing 
it for their own satisfaction. Mr. Mills' scrapbook covering fifty years 
of his service in the music of this church included a program for an 
organ recital by Ernest B. Stimson, the church organist, held Novem- 
ber 5, 1926. Mr. Stimson was a child of this congregation and later 
taught music at Mitchell. Mr. Mills gives a list of twenty-six persons 
who served as organist during the fifty years his sketch covers. Twelve 
of them were associated with the college, sometimes with the church 
paying part of their salary in agreement with the school. One of these 
was Professor Karel Bondham, perhaps as fine a musician as ever 
lived in Statesville. 

Bondham was a native of the Netherlands and had been a concert 
pianist touring through many of the cities in Europe. That life was too 
much a strain on his health, and he came to America where he taught 
piano at Damrosch's School of Musical Arts in New York. After four 
years he resigned from there and secured a home in the Brushy moun- 
tains near North Wilkesboro. It was here that Mr. Mills became 
acquainted with Bondham, and he and Dr. Raynal persuaded him to 
come to be Dean of Music at Statesville Female College and organist 
for the First Presbyterian Church. He undertook this work in 1916, 
about the time Dr. J. A. Scott resigned and J. M. Moore became Presi- 
dent of the college. Bondham was Dean of Music in May 1918 when 
the new name, Mitchell College, was adopted. Mr. Mills said he was, 
"an organist only from necessity, yet his organ improvisations were 
always of the highest order, producing a pleasant melody with a beau- 
tiful tonal or color scheme applicable to the service in which he was 
participating." 5 He left Statesville after about ten years, and he and 
Mrs. Bondham returned to Holland. 

In his scrapbook on the music at First Presbyterian Church as he 
had known it through fifty years (1882-1932) Charles E. Mills names 
one hundred and two persons who had sung in the church choir in 


those years. He included a listing of over four hundred and fifty 
compositions in the music library of the choir, available in sufficient 
number for their use in leading the congregation's worship. The tra- 
dition of having good church music as a part of the life of this con- 
gregation owes a great deal to the ability and devotion of Charles 
E. Mills. 

The first service held in the new building was on July 25, 1925. A 
full congregation gathered to join in the celebration. Pastor C. E. 
Raynal preached from the text Psalm 122:1: "I was glad when they 
said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.' " The ordination of 
additional elders and deacons elected in the spring had been 
delayed until their installation could take place in the new church. 
On August 2nd, B. A. Cowan, W. L. Gilbert, R. M. Gray, J. R. Hill, and 
J. A. Scott were ordained as elders and P. S. Easley who had been 
ordained elder before coming to this church was installed. The new 
deacons taking office that day were: Fred H. Deaton, C. V. Henkle, P. 
Dalton Kennedy, N. B. Mills, J. B. Roach, H. O. Steele, H. T. Steele 
and C. D. Stevenson. 6 

For the first time since its founding, the church school had ade- 
quate space for all its classes. There were seventeen rooms for the 
different classes and departments, one for the Sunday School 
office /library, a meeting room for the Session, a choir room, a large 
fellowship hall underneath the auditorium, a kitchen, a choir room, 
utility rooms and toilets. All of the space now occupied by the 
church offices, parlor, library, and chapel were originally designed 
for parts of the school. On the wall of the nursery room a poster was 
mounted which listed the "Cradle Roll". From ribbons suspended 
below it, small individual nametags with the dates of birth were 
hung. When a baby was born in the congregation, its name was 
added and remained there until the child moved on to the "Begin- 
ners" class. It would be extremely difficult if not impossible to list all 
those who have given of their interest and time to carry on the work 
of the Sunday School but the leaders at the time the School occupied 
its new facilities were: W. L. Gilbert, Superintendent; J. B. Roach, 
Assistant Superintendent; W. T. Warlick, Secretary; A. L. Lowrance, 
Treasurer; B. A. Cowan, Librarian. Class superintendents were: Cra- 
dle Roll — Mrs. H. E. Vincent; Beginners — Miss Hazel Dotson; Pri- 
mary — Mrs. C. D. Stevenson; Juniors — Miss Mamie McElwee; 
Intermediates — W. H. Suttenfield; Seniors — C. M. Adams and Mrs. 
Z. V. Long. Teachers of the adult classes were: Young Women's Class 

The 1924 Building 199 

— Mrs. W. A. Eliason; Young Men's Class — John A. Scott; Women's 
Class — Mrs. O. L. Turner and Mrs. J. A. Scott, Sr.; Men's Class — 
R. R. Clark; Teacher's Training Class — Z. V. Long. 7 

The congregation was very proud of their new building and want- 
ed others to share in their joy. When the Synod of North Carolina held 
its annual meeting that fall, the commissioner from the Session and 
the pastor extended the body an invitation to come to Statesville to 
hold their October 1926 meeting. The invitation was accepted and 
committees of the Session, the Diaconate, and the Women' Auxiliary 
began making plans for their four day visit. Some meals would be 
served in the church basement, and persons in the congregation were 
enlisted to provide overnight accommodations for the elders and min- 
isters who would come from all across the state. 

The Session wanted to have a series of special services, known in 
those days as a "protracted meeting", to spread the influence of the 
church through the community. They sought to secure the Rev. James 
I. Vance of Blowing Rock, noted preacher, author, and former Mod- 
erator of the Presbyterian General Assembly, to come to Statesville in 
the fall of 1925 to lead the meeting. It was the following spring before 
Dr. Vance could come, but his preaching during twelve days in April 
was a great influence for good, both among the Presbyterians and the 
large numbers from other denominations who came to hear him. The 
Session minutes report results of the Vance meeting as: professions 
of faith made by three adults and forty-six young people and three 
additions on transfer of membership. These were a part of the eighty- 
nine members added to the church roll when it came time to make the 
annual report to Concord Presbytery. 

A new Manual of the church was issued in 1927. It gives the names 
and addresses of seven hundred and twenty-eight persons on the roll. 
In addition to the members of the Session and Board of Deacons and 
a listing of all the Sunday School officers and teachers, it gives the 
names of all officers of the Women's Auxiliary. The separate Foreign 
and Home Missionary Societies of the women had been united in 
1914. In the mid 1920s the General Assembly had changed its Com- 
mittee on Women's Work to the Committee on the Women's Auxiliary 
and urged all local groups to reorganize themselves according to a 
churchwide plan. Under the leadership of its president, Mrs. 
R. M. Gray, the Statesville Church did form a Women's Auxiliary. This 
continued to be the name of the organization until 1948 when across 
the denomination the present name, "Women of the Church", was 


adopted. The former Ladies Aid Society was included in the new 
Women's Auxiliary and had one member of the executive commit- 
tee, Mrs. E. M. Land, as Secretary of Pastor's Aid. 

At the time the 1927 Manual was published, Young People's Work, 
with Miss Mamie McElwee as the superintendent, was divided into 
three groups: Senior Boys and Girls, Intermediate Boys, and Inter- 
mediate Girls. Because of their activity in the church as they matured, 
it will be of interest to note the "officers" of these groups. Seniors: John 
R. Smith, Pres.; Lula Furches, V. Pres.; Will Deaton, Sect.; James Gray, 
Treas.; Intermediate Boys: Joseph Easley, Pres.; Billie Neely, Sect.; 
Frank Furches, Treas.;Intermediate Girls: Lois Furches, Pres.; Elizabeth 
McElwee, Sect.-Treas. During the 1930s after others had taken over 
leadership of the Senior and Intermediate youth groups, Miss Mamie 
McElwee formed a group for the younger children, ages nine through 
twelve, who met each Sunday afternoon at the church and followed 
programs which she prepared for them. 

The new church provided facilities that were unequalled in 
Statesville. Not long after the congregation moved in there were 
requests from groups in the community to use the church to hold 
special meetings of various sorts. The auditorium and the large base- 
ment meeting hall and kitchen could easily accommodate any group 
that might be expected to gather. The Session considered the 
requests that were made, but were concerned that their fine church 
dedicated to the worship of God should become merely a commu- 
nity meeting place and were careful in approving the requests. They 
feared that granting approval to any group that came would imply 
that the church endorsed the positions or causes endorsed by the 
ones that met there. 

The Session did approve some requests. When the Minister's Asso- 
ciation asked to hold an interdenominational rally and when Pres- 
bytery wanted to sponsor gatherings here, the requests were readily 
granted. In April 1927 Mrs. R. N. Clark's circle of the Women's Aux- 
iliary asked for approval to use the church basement to serve a supper 
for the Kiwanis Club. The Session did grant their request but includ- 
ed in their minutes the following statement: "Understood that the Ses- 
sion would not approve use of church regularly and systematically for 
luncheons of the above character." 8 

In November 1927 a request was made by "certain persons" (not 
otherwise identified) to invite an evangelist to hold a meeting of five 
or six weeks for "the whole town" in the Presbyterian Church. The 

The 1924 Building 201 

Session considered this request with care but denied the request after 
a unanimous vote stating "such a meeting in the near future would be 
inopportune." 9 A year later the Session reported, "Mr. George Stevens, 
the evangelist, met with the Session. He had just held a remarkable 
meeting in which practically all members rededicated themselves to 
the Lord's work." 10 The extant records do not make it clear, but this 
may have been an interdenominational meeting in which our church 
cooperated without the services being held in the Presbyterian 
Church. In making their annual report for the church year ending 
March 31, 1929 the financial report shows financial giving of $28,500. 
A note is added: "In addition our people contributed more than $400. 
to Stevens Evangelistic Campaign." 11 

In the early 1930s great attention was being paid to the proposal 
to repeal the eighteenth amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Repeal 
had been passed by the Congress and action to sustain the repeal 
was being voted on in the states. At this time the Anti-Saloon 
League, the W. C. T. U., and others made a concerted effort to defeat 
repeal. An application was made to hold a rally for this area at the 
Statesville First Presbyterian Church. The Session had serious and 
lengthy discussion of this request and by a unanimous vote adopted 
a statement which they ordered should be read to the congregation 
and used in any publicity issued concerning a special service to be 
held in the church under their own sponsorship. They declared loy- 
alty to the tradition of the Presbyterian Church which opposed the 
church taking political positions on controversial issues on which 
persons of good conscience disagreed. They declined to approve the 
use of the church for the proposed meeting since it might be inter- 
preted as the congregation endorsing the position of the sponsors. 
However, they did appoint a special service to be held in the church 
under their own sponsorship to give witness to the church's long- 
standing opposition to alcohol abuse and declaring in favor of tem- 
perance in all things. 

In 1929 Elder P. S. Easley and his family moved from Statesville to 
Nashville, Tennessee. The Session not only granted them a certificate 
of dismission, but also included in their minutes a statement of com- 
mendation for Dr. Easley similar to the ones which had previously 
been adopted only on the occasion of the death of an elder. Congre- 
gational meetings were called to elect additional officers to replace 
those who were no longer able to serve. In January 1930 
J. O. McAuley, N. B. Mills, J. B. Roach, and C. D. Stevenson were elect- 


ed to be elders. Three of them had served on the Board of Deacons and 
Mr. Mills declined the election, preferring to remain as a deacon. A 
month later an election of new deacons was held and John A. Brady, 
R. R. Clark, J. B. Cooper, A. L. Lowrance, John L. Milholland, C. A. 
Poole, G. P. Scott, W. H. Suttenfield and W. T. Warlick were chosen. All 
of these except Mr. Clark accepted the office to which they had been 
chosen. On March 2nd the newly elected officers were ordained and 

Four more sons of Statesville First Presbyterian entered the min- 
istry during the 1920s. All four continued their ties to the Statesville 
community and visited the church on special occasions. William 
Bonner Knox, a graduate of Davidson and Union Seminary, was 
ordained in 1921. He spent most of his ministry serving churches in 
North Carolina and during the 1930s lived in the Statesville area of 
which Mrs. Knox (nee Katherine Noe) was a native. McKendree Rob- 
bins Long was ordained by Concord Presbytery in December 1922 
and installed as Pastor of Front Street Presbyterian Church. A man 
of great gifts, he was particularly noted as an artist, an avocation he 
followed all his life. After serving a congregation in Macon, Georgia 
he returned to Statesville and engaged in evangelistic work as a 
member of Concord Presbytery. His zeal for leading people to Christ, 
his discomfort with those who disagreed with his revivalistic meth- 
ods, and his unwillingness to fulfill the responsibilities laid on its 
minister members caused him to withdraw from the Presbyterian 
Church and obtain Baptist ordination. He organized the "Gospel 
Center" at the corner of Tradd and Front streets in Statesville where 
he continued to use his superior oratorical abilities. 

Two other young men who followed the path which extended 
from First Presbyterian through Davidson College and Union The- 
ological Seminary into the ordained ministry were Wade Hampton 
Allison and William Henry Matheson. After ordination by Orange 
Presbytery Mr. Allison served churches in North Carolina and Geor- 
gia before becoming a member of Wilmington Presbytery where he 
was pastor of congregations on its roll for eighteen years until his 
death in 1963. Mr. Matheson, ordained by Mecklenburg Presbytery 
in 1927, performed his ministry in churches in North Carolina, Ten- 
nessee and Georgia. Between 1950 and 1965 he was a member of 
Concord Presbytery as pastor of churches in Concord and Marion. 
When the church held the Bicentennial of its establishment in Octo- 
ber 1964, Mr. Matheson was one of ten ministerial sons of the con- 

The 1924 Building 203 

gregation who were present for the celebration, less than a year 
before his death. 

One more of those entering the ministry had a background in the 
Statesville church. William A. Wood, grandson of the church's 
beloved Pastor W. A. Wood, had been a child in this congregation. 
While he was still a young person, his father Costin Wood moved 
the family to Florida. William Wood was a member of a church in 
Florida when he entered the ministry, but his name can still be list- 
ed here as one with spiritual ties to this congregation. 

For the summer of 1927 the church secured a young man to come 
and work with the young people and assist at Park Place Mission. 
Charles F. McRae of Maxton, N. C. was a candidate for the ministry 
and had just completed his Junior year at Davidson College. He 
worked closely with Miss Mamie McElwee, who was the Superin- 
tendent of Young People's work, and the three months he spent in 
Statesville proved valuable to the youth of the church and the com- 
munity. This experience may have influenced his decision to direct 
his ministry to the Christian education of young men. He taught on 
the faculty of Hampden-Sydney College for thirty-two years. His 
summer here proved so valuable that he was invited to come back 
the following year before he entered Union Seminary in the fall of 

Dr. Raynal's service was not limited to the church. In his early 
years in the community he took leadership in the movement to have 
a public library in Statesvile. When a library was established on the 
second floor of the building on West Broad Street where the city 
offices were located, he took a position on the Library Board and was 
active in promoting the expansion and use of this community asset. 
Another way in which he reached out to all the people of the area 
was through a column he wrote for The Statesville Daily under the 
heading "Love Letters to a Little Town." Through these semi-week- 
ly articles he expressed his interest in a wide varity of subjects such 
as the value of home gardens, conservation, ways to beautify the 
town, promotion of the schools and teachers, public welfare, the 
threat of international aggression, etc. 

Footnotes to Chapter XVIII 

1. Session Book IV - Minutes, March 15, 1921 

2. The Statesville Daily, July 17, 1924, page 1 

3. Letter from Roy West, Statesville, N.C. to H. M. Raynal, May 28, 1923 

4. Session Book IV op. cit. Minutes, March 30, 1924 



5. C. E. Mills' Scrapbook Fifty Years Record of Music, Musicals, and Musicians article "A Wizard of 

the Piano" 

6. Session Book V - Minutes, August 2, 1925 

7. Manual of the First Presbyterian Church - November 1927 = pages 3 & 4 

8. Session Book V op.cit. Minutes, March 6, 1927 

9. Ibid - Minutes, November 27, 1927 

10. Ibid - Minutes, November 25, 1928 

11. Ibid - Minutes, April 8, 1929 

Interior of the 3rd brick church with Mr. Charles E. Mills, Music Director, in the choir loft. 

The 1924 Building 


Third brick church, built in 1890. Dedicated in 1896. 

Chapter Nineteen 

The Depression and World War II 

The Great Depression of the 1930s was felt throughout the world. 
In Statesville banks failed, businesses went bankrupt, and many 
folk found themselves without jobs. In the Presbyterian Church 
the Minutes of both the Session and the Board of Deacons show the 
strenuous efforts of the officers to meet the responsibilities of the 
church while continuing to reach out in support of others. Expenses 
were cut wherever possible. The amount of insurance carried on the 
church and the manse buildings was reduced. Of course, continuing 
to have a summer student assistant was not possible. The pastor's 
salary was reduced from $4,000. to $3,600. a year and the Treasurer's 
from $360. to $200. a year. At one meeting it was noted that the Sun- 
day School had a deficit. Instructions were given "to cut down in 
unnecessary materials." 1 To assure continued ministry to the Park 
Place Mission, arrangements were made with the Rev. E. D. Brown, 
pastor of Fifth Creek Church, to supply there. He was paid $5.00 a 
month by the Young Men's Bible Class and $5.00 a month by the 
Board of Deacons. Bonner Knox, who was now living in Statesville, 
was associated in this work. In November 1931 the Session approved 
"sending a small amount to the Chapel on East Broad so that it may 
be used during the winter months." 2 Presumably this was for fuel. 
The Treasurer was instructed to borrow money in order to pay the 
City of Statesville for assessments to pave West End Avenue and Kelly 
Street. Partial payments had been made, but some of this debt had 
been owed since 1922. At the next meeting of the Deacons, the Trea- 
surer reported that he had not been able to get the loan. For a few 
years an item of $350. was included in the budget assigned to paying 
off this debt, but the income did not make it possible for the Treasur- 
er to make this payment. It was September of 1941 before the Deacon's 
minutes include a note that the street assessment had been paid in full. 
The major financial burden that was on the church at the time of 
depression was the debt still owed on the building. The original loan 


had been for $65,000., payable over ten years. The payments had been 
made regularly for the first years but after 1930 total giving had 
declined, and the Treasurer was unable to make all of the semiannu- 
al payments when they were due. Several times short term loans had 
been made from the bank. Some years individual officers had secured 
personal loans in order to assure that the interest could be paid, even 
when the principal could not be reduced. When the ten year term of 
the note came to an end $35,750. was still owed. The Jefferson Stan- 
dard Life Insurance Company from whom the loan had been secured 
agreed to extend the term for an additional ten years. A new note was 
signed on October 18, 1934 by thirteen of the deacons as Trustees for 
the Church. A concerted effort was made to pay off the debt as soon 
as possible, even when it meant postponing desired improvements in 
program and equipment. New subscriptions were sought including 
writing to all persons who were on the non-resident roll of the church. 
An amount to cover the regular payments began to be included as a 
separate item in the budget. Every six months the congregation was 
reminded that another payment was due and all who could were 
asked to make a contribution to this expense. In spite of the efforts 
however, the amount owed to Jefferson Standard was not reduced as 
much as was hoped. 

In 1939 the church reached the 175th anniversary of its founding 
and a special observance was planned. Growing out of that came a 
determination to get their church out of debt. In the records of the Dia- 
conate is found "a list of those who contributed to the payment of the 
balance of the Church Debt in November 1940, at which time this bal- 
ance in the amount of $22,429.05 was given, and on Dec. 1, 1940 said 
debt was paid." 3 The names of four hundred and fourteen persons are 
listed as making contributions in this special solicitation which final- 
ly paid off the mortgage on the 1925 building. In addition to individ- 
uals, the following groups are named: "Ladies Auxiliary (every mem- 
ber) . . . Nursery & Beginners Department . . . Margaret Raynal Circle 
... Young Men's Bible Class." Many of those included on the list, 
either as individuals or with gifts made in their names by their par- 
ents, are still members and leaders of First Presbyterian Church more 
than fifty years later. 

In spite of the difficulties caused to the church by the depression 
of the 1930s, one direct result was the accomplishment of an earnest- 
ly desired goal — the restoration of the stone wall surrounding the 
Fourth Creek Cemetery. The old wall originally built by the pioneers 

The Depression and World War II 209 

had fallen into disrepair. The little cemetery with its rock wall was the 
historical center of Statesville. Burials were being made in this plot 
of ground before the founding of Statesville, even before the Fourth 
Creek Congregation erected their first building about 1757. The loca- 
tion of Fourth Creek Church and its burying ground was influential in 
the selection of the site for the county seat when Iredell County was 
founded, with the county seat established on property secured from 
Fergus Sloan in 1758. The first town limits extended from a tree at the 
NE corner of the cemetery. 

As time had passed the town had grown from simpler to larger 
things. Log cabins were replaced by grander homes. Larger churches 
replaced the first meeting houses, and what had been a rural village 
developed a business section. Many new folk settled here, and all 
things changed except the cemetery wall which remained as the only 
relic of the pioneer's workmanship. 

When the wall had been laid up by the early settlers of the com- 
munity, with the first part being built about 1790, it was constructed 
without any mortar. Rock had been gathered from all the surrounding 
area, brought in by wagon, and then laid up as a "dry wall". The best 
stones were placed as a veneer on the outside and the interior filled 
with small rubble. The wall was thick in proportion to its height but it 
did not have great strength. There was frequent crumbling and 
though the front wall had been kept in reasonable repair, there were 
other sections that had become little more than a pile of rocks. Adding 
to the disintegration had been various actions by individuals who 
used the rock wall as a stone quarry to satisfy their desires. Some had 
been taken and used in the foundations as new homes were build 
nearby. At this time there was a craze for rock gardens and many 
stones which were originally a part of the wall had been carried away 
and used that way. When some of the county residents came to town 
they parked their Model T Fords on the hill near the cemetery. A rock 
would be taken and used as a chock under the back wheel to keep the 
car from rolling off. When time came to return home the car would be 
driven off but the rock was left lying in the road. The writer has been 
told by a lady who used to live on Kelly Street of seeing Dr. Raynal on 
a Monday morning walking down beside the cemetery, picking up the 
stones left in the street and wrestling them back into place on the wall. 

The cemetery and its rock wall had been a treasure in the mind of 
the pastor. Its deteriorated condition with sunken graves, overgrowth 
of honeysuckle and green briar, hulks of dying cedar trees, and crum- 


bling wall was a matter of continuing concern to him. Just a few years 
after he had moved to Statesville, he had encouraged the congregation 
to oppose the proposal to replace the stone wall with an iron fence. 
In 1915 he had preached a sermon "The Old Wall and What It Repre- 
sents". In edited form this was printed in The Landmark in November 
1915 as a witness to the whole community. Dr. Raynal said: 

"All things changed except this ancient wall — this wall that is the one 
work left of our pioneers. It stretches there in the sun today as the true 
monument of the men who built it. Not in the frail marble that marks 
the graves is their spirit seen, but in the rugged strength of these gran- 
ite boulders that guard it — the living spirit of the men that lie buried 
there. Remove not that ancient landmark — the most distinctive and 
beautiful thing in town." 

The opportunity to restore the cemetery came after the installation 
of Franklin Roosevelt as President of the United States. One part of his 
"New Deal" was to provide work for some of the unemployed by 
supporting labor intensive projects across the country. Mrs. E. M. 
Land, a member of the congregation, was appointed Administrator of 
the Emergency Relief Administration for Iredell County. Deacon R. L. 
Poston proposed that restoration of the cemetery be one of the projects 
for which an application for aid should be submitted. Mrs. Land 
secured Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) grants from the Fed- 
eral government and State support for programs in the county, none 
of more lasting significance than the restoration of Fourth Creek 

Following plans drawn up by Dr. Raynal the work began in 1933. 
His sketch showing the restored wall with two seats on the back and 
a place to mount a memorial marker at the front. The proposed paths 
and plantings, is in the Raynal scrapbook in the Heritage Room. 
Rebuilding of the wall was begun at the northwest corner, continued 
on along the back to the town cornerstone which had been erected 
when the original tree marker had died and was included in the wall, 
then circled the front before returning to the starting place. A few of 
those employed had been masons, but only a couple had any experi- 
ence working with rock. That was the reason that the back wall was 
rebuilt first. By the time they got around to the front, the part that 
would be most conspicuous, their skill would have improved so this 
part would be the most finished in appearance. It is worthwhile the 
next time you are in the old cemetery to go back to the northwest cor- 
ner and look at the wall. There is a clear contrast between the first part 

The Depression and World War II 211 

set in cement and the last part laid a year later when the workers' 
skills had developed. 

Some months after the project was well underway, news came that 
threatened to bring a halt to the work. No more funds would be avail- 
able from the P.W.A. The cemetery was the possession of the church, 
and only government programs were supposed to receive these 
grants. The only program which could continue to finance the pro- 
ject was the Works Projects Administration (W.P.A.). These funds, 
however, were limited to public projects such as parks, roads, water 
and sewer systems. Since the cemetery was not publicly owned, it 
would not have been eligible. The officers investigated and, working 
with Mrs. Land, found that if the cemetery was owned by the city the 
funds would be available. 

A congregational meeting on December 17th 1933 approved convey- 
ing the cemetery property to the City of Statesville "on condition that 
the said grantee accept and maintain the same as a memorial cemetery 
to be designated as 'Fourth Creek Memorial Burying Ground' and to be 
preserved in perpetuity as a memorial to the pioneers, Revolutionary 
and Indian War and War Between the States soldiers of the communi- 
ty." 5 A second stipulation in the resolution of conveyance provided that 
if the city failed to maintain and use the property solely for the stated 
purpose, it would revert to the congregation. 

In some places the W.P. A. was a subject of derision with many jokes 
circulating about the workers leaning on shovels or raking the same 
spot a dozen times. In contrast to what may have been true at some 
places, the men rebuilding the wall took pride in what they were 
accomplishing, and now sixty years later the rock wall stands, not 
only as a memorial to the pioneers who first built it, but also to the 
men who rebuilt it to be a lasting memorial honoring the early days of 
Statesville. Just inside the upper gate the workmen mounted a gran- 
ite tablet listing their names as "Builders of the Wall" in the same way 
an artist signs a completed painting. The inscription on the gate post 
names the three masons and sixteen workmen who labored to accom- 
plish the restoration. Mrs. Land and Dr. Raynal did not know that the 
workmen had decided that their names should be included on the 
marker. The inscription says: Civil Works Administrator Mrs. E. M. 
Land Plans by C. E. Raynal" before naming the workmen. The mark- 
er is dated 1934 and recognizes G. F. Eagle as the one who designed it. 

In addition to the wall itself, major work was done on the cemetery. 
Truck loads of vines and brush were grubbed out and carried away, 


sunken graves were filled, dying trees were removed. The old tomb- 
stones, many of which had fallen over, were set in rows as near as pos- 
sible to their original sites. A few stones were retrieved after falling 
into sunken graves. New tombstones were secured from the Veter- 
ans Administration to mark the graves of nine Confederate veterans 
previously unmarked. Grass was sowed and new shrubbery was 
planted following a plan made out by Dr. Raynal. Flagstone walks 
were installed from each gate to the back wall and a path circled the 
back and bottom third of the graveyard. What had been neglected and 
disheveled in spite of occasional efforts by individuals was changed 
into a peaceful garden. 

On Confederate Decoration Day, May 10, 1934, the bronze tablet 
mounted on the place built for it along the front wall was dedicated. 
A number of citizens gathered including representatives of the patri- 
otic organizations and the last living Confederate veterans from this 
community. The inscription reads: 



Dedicated by the Presbyterian Church to the memory of the 

Pioneers and to the soldiers of the Indian Wars, the Revolution, 

and the Confederacy who lie buried here. 

Built by the Pioneers, this wall was reconstructed by the 

National Government and the City of Statesville as a 

tribute to the Patriotism and character of these citizens 

of Iredell County. 


This tablet was erected by the Colonial Dames, the Daughters 

of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the Confederacy, 

the American War Mothers and the American Legion Auxiliary" 6 

A small tablet was added noting: 

Participating in this memorial — 
the Spanish- American War Veterans and Auxilary. 

A number of folk made significant contributions in the restoration 
of the old cemetery. Perhaps the one of most lasting value was per- 
formed by Mrs. Will Bristol. With the assistance of her daughters she 
went through the whole cemetery, at times on her hands and knees 
and with a magnifying glass, numbered and copied the inscriptions 

The Depression and World War II 213 

on all the monuments. She transcribed these and the original was filed 
in the Register of Deeds Office in Salisbury, Fourth Creek having been 
in Rowan County when the cemetery was started. The lists were print- 
ed in The Statesville Daily and copies were given to the Presbyterian 
Church. In January 1967 the county committee of the National Society 
of Colonial Dames published a pamphlet, "Fourth Creek Memorial 
Burying Ground — 1756" under the leadership of Alice (Mrs. John 
Cooper) Fowler and Elizabeth Graham (Mrs. John Scott) Raynal with 
a brief sketch of the history of the cemetery and a copy of all tomb- 
stone inscriptions. They used Mrs. Bristol's work as a source in 
reprinting the inscriptions. Every stone was checked against her copy- 
ing, and the 1934 listing was generally found to be quite accurate. 
Some stones listed by Mrs. Bristol had disappeared in the intervening 
thirtythree years but some dates either not included or illegible on the 
old monuments were noted. This 1967 list has proved to be a valuable 
source to anyone seeking information on a burial at Fourth Creek 
though it must be fully recognized that a great many, if not most of the 
burials, were unmarked with a monument. 

Another event of the depression years was the coming of Hobart A. 
Whitman to direct the music program at Mitchell College and play the 
organ for First Presbyterian Church. He was a native of Massachusetts 
and a member of the American Guild of Organists. Mr. Charles Mills 
was influential in attracting him, and the Casavant organ was a posi- 
tive factor in helping him decide to come to Statesville. Mr. Whitman 
was here sharing his musical gifts with the people of this community 
from 1930 to 1934. It was under his guidance that the young people 
were organized into a Junior Choir. 

The women of the congregation sewed simple vestments for the 
choir, short robes for the girls and capes for the boys. The young peo- 
ple formed the choir for the evening services. They met in the church 
basement each Sunday evening, and the circles of the Women's Aux- 
iliary took turns serving them a simple meal. The hostesses were allot- 
ted one dollar a week with which to provide the meal. With the limit- 
ed funds available, the most frequent menu was a pimento sandwich, 
iced tea, and cookies. After supper the young people gathered in the 
choir loft with Mr. Whitman to practice for their part in the evening 
service. Next they went back to one of the Sunday School class rooms 
for their youth meeting which followed the denomination's youth 
work program known as the Kingdom's Highway. This group had as 
its advisor Mrs. Belle Nicholson and was later to be the Youth Fellow- 


ship. Completion of the seventh grade was a notable time for children 
in the Presbyterian Church for on entering high school they were 
admitted into the youth group and Sunday evenings became high 
points in the week. The Junior Choir provided leadership of music as 
long as the church continued to have regular evening services. 

In 1932 the General Assembly adopted a revision in the Form of 
Government which would allow a congregation to elect their officers 
for limited terms of service. When chosen, elected, and approved 
elders, deacons, and ministers had been ordained for life, with elders 
and deacons serving the congregation which had elected them as long 
as they continued to be members of the congregation. In 1933 the Dea- 
cons appointed a committee to consider the "rotation" of their body. 
After some months they decided to request the congregation to 
approve election for limited terms for the Deacons, but there appears 
to have been no sentiment to have it adopted for the elders. Some felt 
that this new way would belittle the office and cause unrest in the 
church. The proposal was not taken to the congregation, and the 1935 
election of officers was held giving lifetime tenure to newly elected 

Elected to the office of elder were: George H. Emery, R. D. Grier, 
R. L. Johnson, Samuel J. Knox, and W. C. Wooten. The new deacons 
were: C. M. Adams, M. S. Choate, Karl T. Deaton, L. A. Ervin, Frank 
Hall, J. Henry Hall, Francis C. McAuley, Dr. Ross S. McElwee, Lath- 
an Mills, Dr. J. H. Nicholson, and J. Halbert Stimson. In addition to 
these elected, but declining to serve were: to the office of elder — 
A. L. Lowrance, N. B. Mills, William Warlick and E. B. Watts; to the 
office of deacon — J. A. Johnston. The service of ordination and instal- 
lation was held June 9, 1935. 

The deacons continued to desire limited terms of service and in the 
fall of 1938 petitioned the Session to call a congregational meeting "in 
the near future" to consider making the change. The meeting was 
called and by a vote of one hundred and fifty-eight for and twenty- 
four against, a rotary system for the Board of Deacons was adopted. 
All twenty-seven active deacons resigned, and a new Board was elect- 
ed. Hereafter deacons were to serve six year terms, with one third of 
the Board to be elected every two years. The ones chosen in the first 
election that named the reorganized Board were divided into three 
classes — one third each for two, four, and six years. Those chosen 
were divided into three classes. The ones selected were: for two years 
— S. P. Jones, A. L. Lowrance, Francis McAuley, G. P. Scott, J. Halbert 

The Depression and World War II 215 

Stimson; for four years W. H. Allen, J. A. Brady, F. H. Deaton, R. L. Pos- 
ton, W. T. Warlick; for six years — D. H. Andrews, W. F. Hall, Jr. Z. V. 
Long, Jr., J. H. Nicholson, and Karl Sherrill. Three are reported as elect- 
ed but the class they were in is not noted: Karl Deaton, A. R. Morrow, 
and Oscar Steele. On Sunday, March 5, 1939 four of the newly elect- 
ed ones were ordained as deacons, and all eighteen were installed into 
office. It was to be twenty-four more years before the congregation 
was to adopt the rotation system for the Session. 

Two more young men from the congregation became candidates for 
the ministry under the care of Concord Presbytery in these years. John 
Robert Smith was the son of the Rev. John Andrew Smith and Mrs. 
Sarah Smith. His father had been the pastor of the Fifth Creek Church 
field, and after his death in 1933 Mrs. Smith and her children lived in 
Statesville in a house across the street from the Kelly Street Manse. 
John Robert was a graduate of Davidson College and Union Theolog- 
i ical Seminary. He was ordained by Central Mississippi Presbytery in 
1940. After serving churches in Mississippi and Texas and as a chap- 
lain in the Navy during World War II, he returned to North Carolina 
|i to become the executive secretary of Winston-Salem Presbytery in 
; 1957 and in 1962 took a position with the General Assembly's Board 
! of Church Extension. He continued with the denominational offices 
| until his retirement in May 1975. 

In April 1937 the Pastor's son, Charles E. Raynal, Jr., came to the Ses- 
i; sion and asked for their endorsement to become a candidate for the 
J ministry under the care of Concord Presbytery. The presbytery accept- 
I ed him and upon graduating from Davidson he entered Union Theo- 
' logical Seminary, Richmond. The Session minutes for May 21, 1939 say: 
"... ordered that a record be made that on this date Charles Raynal, Jr. 

- preached his first sermon at the morning hour, substituting for his 
I Father, the Pastor." 7 After receiving his theological training, he was 
I ordained in 1941 by Norfolk Presbytery where he served a church for 

- a year before entering the naval chaplaincy. He served in the South 
(Pacific during World War II. A few days before he was called into 
| active service he was married to Laetitia Hay Jones, the daughter of his 
^ father's long time friend, Dr. Dudley Jones. Two of their sons, Charles 
}■ E. Raynal III and Gordon W. G. Raynal, became Presbyterian ministers 

- and thus are properly listed here as grandsons of Statesville First Pres- 
I byterian in the ministry. After the war Charles Jr. became pastor of 
I three small churches in South Carolina and was to serve ministries in 
| that state for the next thirty-four years. In 1980 he was granted honor- 


able retirement, and now he and his wife live at the Presbyterian Home 
in Summerville, S. C. where he had been the chaplain. 

In 1939 the church observed the 175th Anniversary of its formal 
organization. At the suggestion of Elder W. L. Gilbert, a whole day of 
services was planned for October 22nd to be followed by a week of 
evangelistic services conducted by Dr. Legh R. Scott, pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro, N. C, a son of the congregation. 
On Sunday morning the service was conducted by Dr. Raynal. Elder 
John A. Scott extended a welcome to the many visitors and former 
members who had come for the occasion. The morning sermon was 
delivered by Dr. Charles M. Richards. At the close of the service a 
"basket dinner" was served in the dining room. In the afternoon the 
congregation reassembled in the sanctuary for an historical meeting. 
Some of the daughter churches which had grown out of Fourth Creek 
or First Presbyterian brought greetings through official representa- 
tives. Those who participated were from Bethany, Concord (Iredell), 
Front Street and Park Place. The high point of the afternoon was a pre- 
sentation by Minnie H. Eliason (Mrs. W. H.) of a sketch of the history 
of the church which she had written. She titled her paper, "Fourth 
Creek Meeting House, or the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville". 
Next the pastor, Dr. Raynal, spoke briefly on his thirty years at the 
church. He spoke particularly in appreciation for the support he had 
received from the officers and the leaders of the educational program. 
Mrs. B. F. Long represented the women of the congregation in pay- 
ing tribute to Dr. and Mrs. Raynal and presented them an engraved 
silver pitcher marking their twenthfifth wedding anniversary and the 
thirty-fifth anniversary of Dr. Raynal's ordination. Mrs. Eliason's his- 
tory was printed and distributed by the church as a part of the fol- 
io wup of the 175th Anniversary. 

That evening a program of music was held, planned with the sup- 
port of the Music Committee, Charles E. Mills, Chairman. Director of 
the choir was Mr. Franklin Riker, and Miss Gladys Stephens was the 
organist. The church choir was augmented for this occasion by some 
singers from the choirs of other neighboring churches. Dr. James Chris- 
tian Pfohl and Mr. Warren P. Babcock were guest artists performing 
instrumental numbers. Dr. Scott's week of preaching opened the next 
evening and was closed with the observance of the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper on Sunday, October 29th. In addition to the printing of 
Mrs. Eliason's history, a 175th Anniversary pamphlet was issued 
including the schedule for the day, pictures of the church and of Dr. 

The Depression and World War II 217 

Raynal, a brief history of the church, the names of all former elders and 
deacons, and a complete listing of the 1939 church organization. 

As was noted above, the 175th Anniversary was the impetus for a 
drive to complete the payment on the debt the church owed for the 
erection of their building. It has been the custom in Presbyterian 
Churches not to have a formal dedication of a building until it has 
been paid for in full. Upon payment of the final balance owed to Jef- 
ferson Standard and return of the mortgage on the property, the con- 
gregation gathered on Sunday, December 22, 1940 for the dedication. 
The service opened with a procession of the Session, the Diaconate, 
the custodians, and the members of the committee which had headed 
the drive to pay off the debt, and the ones who had planned the day. 
The whole was a service of thanksgiving and praise. Both the Young 
Peoples' Choir and the Adult Choir participated. Announcement was 
made that the debt had been paid in full on December 1, 1940 and the 
mortgage was burned. When the morning offering was presented, Dr. 
Raynal made the declaration that this was to be: 

... a house within whose walls His gospel is to be truly preached, His 
Sacraments are to be faithfully administered, and prayer and praise are 
to be offered unto Him. We are now gathered in His Presence for the 
purpose of devoting this house, by a solemn act of worship, to its prop- 
er and sacred use." 8 

The congregation then joined responsively in reading the act of 
dedication with Dr. Raynal leading the dedication prayer. It was a 
great and long-yearned-for event in the life of the congregation, and 
now they felt free to move into new areas of service which had been 
denied them or postponed while the debt had been taking so much of 
the church funds. 

Since the depression only necessary work had been done: repairs to 
the chimes tower, painting of the church roof and exterior woodwork, 
and changes at the manse. In April 1940 there had been a fire in the 
roof above the kitchen at the manse resulting in considerable damage. 
Sufficient funds were added to the insurance money, and the manse 
was expanded with a new bedroom and toilet above the rebuilt 

Not long thereafter an improvement was made to make the manse 
more comfortable for the pastor and his family. As was true with so 
many of the older homes, the manse was heated by fireplaces and 
small stoves. One very cold winter day a member of the church came 
by the manse to see her pastor. She found him on his hands and knees 


crawling around under the house attempting to thaw out frozen water 
pipes. Mrs. Virginia DuBose was so disturbed that she determined 
that something had to be done about it. She took the responsibility of 
seeing officers and the people in the congregation and raising funds 
to have a furnace installed at the manse. World War II was underway 
and there was a shortage of any metal goods, but Lazenby-Mont- 
gomery Hardware was able to secure a house-size furnace, probably 
the last one that passed through their hands until after the war. The 
writer remembers what a comfort it was to the pastor's family not to 
have to bring in scuttles of coal and haul out ashes from five differ- 
ent fires and to be sure that the water pipes weren't going to freeze. 

From time to time the officers had discussed securing an addition- 
al person to serve as assistant to Dr. Raynal, but each time the finan- 
cial condition of the church seemed to make it impractical while the 
efforts were being made to pay the building debt. Now the matter was 
looked at anew. Some remembered favorably the way in which 
Charles F. McRae, a student at Davidson College, had been at the 
church during the summer of 1927 with primary responsibility pro- 
viding worthwhile assistance to their pastor without committing the 
church to longtime financial responsibility. In May 1941 a plan "to 
have some young man from Davidson to organize the young people" 9 
was endorsed by the Board of Deacons stating that the expenses were 
not to exceed $350. 

Robert Murphy Williams, Jr. had just graduated from Davidson and 
was planning to enter Union Seminary in the fall. His father had been 
the long time pastor of the Church of the Covenant in Greensboro, and 
through the Synod Dr. Raynal and Dr. Williams had become close 
friends. Dr. Raynal went down to Davidson to enlist a student to assist 
him for the summer. He was pleased to have the son of his friend 
accept the invitation. "Bob" Williams received a warm welcome from 
the people of Statesville First Presbyterian, particularly from the youth 
for whose benefit he had been enrolled. Young people's work in the 
church grew in numbers and activity during the summer of 1941 and 
the experiment was looked upon as being an outstanding success. 

As the summer drew to a close there was very strong support for 
securing a person to continue the work which "Bob" had been doing. 
After the experience of having Mr. Williams here the church was ready 
to go ahead and add a full time person to the staff. A search was made 
and it was decided to invite Miss Glenn Willard of Wilmington who 
had been at the First Presbyterian Church, Millegeville, Georgia to 

The Depression and World War II 219 

come to Statesville as Director of Young Peoples' Work. She was a 
graduate of the General Assembly's Training School for Lay Workers 
(now Presbyterian School of Christian Education) and thus fully qual- 
ified as a Director of Religious Education. Her work here extended far 
beyond the young people. She assisted in all of the work of the Sun- 
day School, and from an office set up in what had been the Session's 
meeting room, acted as the Church Secretary. She led teacher train- 
ing and assisted the Women's Auxiliary in their work. Glenn Willard 
by her devotion to the Lord, knowledge of the church's program, and 
willingness to serve the people of the congregation in any way possi- 
ble, set a high standard for those who would follow her on the staff of 
First Presbyterian Church. 

Before he completed his three months at the church, the people 
were talking about wanting to secure "Bob" Williams again the fol- 
lowing summer to assist Dr. Raynal and repeat the fine work he had 
done with the young people. In January the Session decided to offer 
him an invitation to return to Statesville for the summer of 1942. There 
was a question about whether he would be available, but in a joint 
meeting of the Session and Diaconate they declared that they were 
anxious for him to return. The authorities at the seminary considered 
this request with him and decided that this would be an appropriate 
summer fieldwork for him. Toward the end of February it was report- 
ed that Williams would come at the close of the school year to coop- 
erate with Miss Williard in the youth work. His second summer in 
Statesville reaffirmed the very favorable impression he had earned 
in the church during the summer of 1941. His duties extended beyond 
those of Youth Worker, and he served in many phases of the church's 
program. Of course he continued to be quite popular with the young 
people, but he reached out to the whole church, children and adults as 
well as the youth. 

Glenn Willard and Murphy Williams meant a great deal to the 
church during their time here. After relying upon their pastor alone 
for so many years, now the congregation could turn as well to these 
other professionals for guidance and support. For several years Dr. 
Raynal had periods when he was not able to perform his full duties. 
The officers were always very supportive and several times granted 
their pastor leave that he could restore his health. As soon as he could 
make it, he would return to his Session and his preaching, but hav- 
ing the assistants eased the load on him and strengthened the church 
when he was not available. 


The church knew that Murphy Williams' term of service would 
come to an end when he was scheduled to return to seminary in Sep- 
tember, but in early August they learned that Glenn Willard would be 
leaving too. She resigned effective September 15, 1942 in order to go 
to the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. Resolutions express- 
ing appreciation were adopted to be given to both of them. On learn- 
ing of Miss Willard's resignation, the Session appointed a committee 
to seek a person to replace her. 

At the September Session meeting the committee reported with their 
recommendation that Miss Lelia Johnston, daughter of the Superin- 
tendent of Barium Springs Home for Children, be employed temporar- 
ily There was immediate approval by the Session, and Miss Johnston 
was promised a salary of $100. a month. She was able to start work at 
the time Miss Willard left and continued at the church for the next year. 

At this time the nation was engaged in the Second World War. The 
local unit of the National Guard, Company F of the 105th Engineers, 
had been activated in 1940. They mustered on the field back of the 
Fourth Creek Cemetery before leaving for camp. Others who held 
reserve status were called to active duty. After war was declared fol- 
lowing the attack on Pearl Harbor, numbers of young men and sev- 
eral young women entered service as volunteers or were drafted. On 
the wall in the Heritage Room the World War II Service Roll is mount- 
ed. The names of one hundred, nineteen men and six women who 
were members of First Presbyterian Church at the time of their service 
are listed. In addition, the church files show the names of forty-six oth- 
ers associated with the church who were on active duty during the 
war years. Four from First Presbyterian were killed in action: Earle 
Brockman, Jr., Joseph Henry Miller, Thomas L. O'Kelly and Edgar 
Everitt Scott. Recognizing how important mail was to a soldier or 
sailor away from home, the church office attempted to keep an up- 
to-date mailing address for each of its service persons even as they 
moved from place to place within the country and then across the 
ocean. Messages written by their pastor or someone else in the church 
were mailed regularly to each person on the mailing list. At Christmas 
the congregation joined in sending packages of socks, candy, cigarettes 
and toiletry articles to every one of its service persons. With the 
wartime shortages it was sometimes difficult to assemble the presents 
they wanted to send, but with the help of merchants from the con- 
gregation and careful saving, the goods were collected. The women 
and young people would meet in the church basement to pack, wrap 

The Depression and World War II 221 

and address these "care packages" to let all know that they were in the 
thoughts and prayers of their home church. The support of those in 
the armed forces extended beyond the ones who were members of this 
congregation. By 1943 an army training unit was stationed at David- 
son College. At Christmas time the Session took action to "Invite 25 
cadets stationed at Davidson and not permitted to go home to be our 
guests on Sunday, December 26th." 10 

At the time of the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the 
Church, Mrs. W. Bonner Knox and Louis A. Brown worked to make as 
complete a list as possible of those from the church who were veter- 
ans of the various wars in which America had been engaged. Their list 
shows: the Revolutionary War — thirty-four veterans; the War 
Between the States — fifty-six veterans; the Spanish- American War — 
eight veterans; World War I — seventy-two veterans; World War II 
— one hundred-ninety-one veterans; the Korean War — thirty-two 

In the 1941 election of deacons to fill a full six year term the ones 
chosen to replace the third of the Board which had served two years 
were: John N. Gilbert, J. W. Johnston, L. A. Parks, A. P. Steele, 
J. C. Steele, Jr., and L. G. Turner. In 1943 the need for additional elders 
was felt and on February 4th the congregation met and elected 
W. F. Hall, Jr., S. P. Jones, A. R. Morrow, Karl Sherrill, Halbert Stimson, 
and W. T. Warlick. A month later a new class of deacons were chosen 
to replace those who had served the four year term to establish the 
rotation system for the Diaconate. Chosen for a six year term were: 
Fred N. Crawford, Ralph T. Holmes, A. L. Lowrance, C. E. Pharr, 
G. P. Scott, and R. A. White. The Session minutes also note the election 
of E. B. Stimson at this time, but his name is not included in the dea- 
con's minutes for the meeting where the new deacons were wel- 
comed. It is not clear why this difference appears though it may have 
been that Mr. Stimson declined to serve. Hereafter all deacons cho- 
sen were under the rotation system. Elections were held every two 
years. The Appendix includes all those chosen to be deacons in the fol- 
lowing years after the limited term system was in full operation. 

Dr. Raynal had another period of illness during the spring of 1943. 
The Session made arrangements with the Reverend Thomas C. Cook, 
pastor of Little Joe's Church, Barium Springs, to supply the pulpit 
during the minister's absence. On other Sundays Dr. Kenneth J. Fore- 
man, Professor of Bible at Davidson and the Rev. John L. McBride, a 
member of Concord Presbytery who lived in Statesville and had been 


overseeing the work at Park Place Chapel, filled in for Dr. Raynal 
when he was not able to preach. 

It was very unusual for the Seminary to approve one of their stu- 
dents coming back to the same place for field work a second time. In 
fact having been here the summer before entering Union Seminary, 
Murphy Williams had already served here two summers. In January 
1943 the Session noted that Mr. Williams would not be available for 
another summer. Elder R. D. Grier made a trip to Richmond and 
appealed to the school to make an exception and that he be allowed to 
come back to Statesville in view of his popularity with the people, the 
close relationship he had established with Dr. Raynal, and the need of 
the church in view of their minister's poor health. An agreement was 
reached and "Bob" came back to First Presbyterian as Assistant to the 
Minister for three months in the summer of 1943. 

With both Lelia Johnston and Murphy Williams leaving at the end 
of August, a new Director of Religious Education needed to be 
secured. Miss Margaret Niblock was enlisted to begin in September. 
She accepted the invitation to come at a salary of $110. a month "with 
the understanding that she is to have leave for the time necessary for 
her marriage during her fiance's leave." 11 This stipulation in her 
agreement with the Session is another evidence of the war's influence 
on the life of the church. In the Session Minutes the following Febru- 
ary a notation is made: "Margaret Niblock is now Mrs. Harkins," 12 fol- 
lowing her marriage to James A. Harkins. 

During that year the church, looking ahead toward their future 
needs, made the purchase of the property across the street from the 
Kelly Street Manse, extending along West End Avenue to the church 
alley. The annual report to Concord Presbytery for the year ending 
March 31, 1944 shows contributions of $11,564. for "Purchase of 
Manse lot and sinking fund for new Manse." 13 

Dr. Raynal reported to the Session that he was able to conduct one 
service on Sundays and the mid-week Prayer Services. An arrange- 
ment was made with Dr. Kenneth Foreman, and for a year he 
preached here on most Sunday mornings. Known to the congregation 
not only from his professorship at Davidson, but also through his 
weekly articles published in The Presbyterian Outlook, Dr. Foreman was 
a most popular preacher. The Session, the Board of Deacons, and the 
congregation each passed resolutions of thanks to him for his ministry 
to this people. 

In April Dr. Raynal undertook his regular duties and was warmly 

The Depression and World War II 223 

welcomed back to his pulpit, but the strain was too much. On Sunday, 
October 1st, assisted by Rev. J. L. McBride, Dr. Raynal administered 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to the congregation. At the close 
of the service he announced that he had a statement to the people 
which he wished with all his heart he could make himself, but could 
not. He asked the Clerk of Session, W. L. Gilbert, to read it on his 
behalf. The pastor's statement declared: 

"On account of his failing health and strength the Pastor is convinced 
that the time has come for him to resign his Pastorate. 

"He is deeply grateful for all the loyalty, generosity, and affection of 
his people. The Church is united, faithful to the great traditions and 
convictions of Presbyterianism, truly Christian in the relationship of the 
people and officers, liberal in support of all good causes, and consid- 
erate of the Pastor and his family. It has been an honor and privilege 
to serve such a Church and such a people." 14 

It was announced that the Session had called the congregation to 
meet the following Sunday to consider Dr. Raynal's request. On Octo- 
ber 8th they agreed unanimously to approve and joined with their 
pastor in requesting Concord Presbytery to dissolve the pastoral rela- 
tionship. At the same meeting the congregation honored him by elect- 
ing Charles E. Raynal as pastor emeritus and adopted resolutions 
declaring their gratitude to God for his ministry to the Statesville 
Church and community and their love and respect for their long-time 
pastor. He had completed thirty-five years as the minister of the 
Statesville First Presbyterian Church, the longest pastorate the church 
had known in its one hundred-ninety year life. 

On Sunday, October 15th, Dr. Raynal participated in the morning 
service and baptized his grandson, Charles E. Raynal III. The baby's 
father, Chaplain Charles E. Raynal, Jr. had just returned to the Unit- 
ed States after serving with the Marines and Navy in the South Pacif- 
ic. His mother and little Charles had lived in the Statesville Manse 
much of the time while his father was serving overseas. 

Elders W. L. Gilbert and Karl Sherrill went with Dr. Raynal to the 
October 17th meeting of Presbytery to represent the church when they 
considered the matter. They approved and granted him Honorable 
Retirement. The congregation had voted to continue his salary 
through the rest of the church year and the manse in which he had 
lived since 1909 should remain as his home. 

In the middle of November Dr. Raynal was admitted to Long's Hos- 
pital, but he did not respond to treatment and on the morning of 


December 1, 1944 he departed this life to be with the Lord to whose 
service his every effort had been dedicated. In his last days his wife, 
Margaret Scott Raynal, and three of his children, Charles Jr., Middle- 
ton, and Margaret were with him. John Scott was serving with the 8th 
Air Force in England. Funeral services were held on Sunday morning, 
December 3rd, at the church conducted by the Reverends Thomas C. 
Cook, Pastor of Little Joe's Church, Barium Springs and J. H. Pressley, 
pastor of the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The 
church was crowded with both members of the congregation and 
many other residents of Statesville. Several local churches cancelled 
their regular services that morning in order that their members could 
attend. His body was laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery. 

Tributes honoring Dr. Raynal came in from all sides: from organi- 
zations within the Church, from the Presbytery, the Ministerial Asso- 
ciation, the Board of Trustees of Mitchell College, local and state news- 
papers, the Board of the Statesville Public Library, and one he would 
have treasured particularly, an editorial published in the Blue and 
Gray, the student newspaper at Statesville High School. A year later 
Mr. Charles E. Mills composed a hymn, "Come Unto Me and Rest", 
dedicated to Dr. Raynal and used by the congregation. Later a bronze 
tablet honoring him was mounted in the sanctuary and a new set of 
pulpit furniture was secured and dedicated in his memory. There was 
talk of securing a monument corresponding to the one honoring W. A. 
Wood in the church yard, but others recognized that his real monu- 
ment was the restoration of the old cemetery and the trees he had 
influenced being planted all around Statesville. 

Footnotes to Chapter XIX 

1. Session's Book VI op. cit. Minutes, January 12, 1932 

2. Ibid. Minutes November 21, 1931 

3. Deacon's Book II - Minutes, January 13, 1941, pp. 62-66 

4. The Landmark - November 17, 1915 

5. Session's Book VI op. cit. - Minutes of Congregation, December 17, 1933 

6. Tablet mounted in wall of Fourth Creek Cemetery 

7. Session's Book VI op. cit. - Minutes, May 21, 1939 

8. Ibid. - Minutes, December 22, 1940 

9. Deacon's Book II op. cit. - Minutes, May 12, 1941 

10. Session's Book VI op. cit. - Minutes, December 13, 1943 

11. Ibid. - Minutes, August 28, 1943 

12. Ibid. - Minutes, February 13, 1944 

13. Ibid. - Minutes, April 10, 1944 

14. Ibid. - Minutes, October 1, 1944 

The Depression and World War II 


Present church, built in 1924-1925. 








»**•* *^SWteSBB« 

The Depression and World War II 




Interior of sanctuary in present church building in 1925 showing Casavant Organ 
donated by the Steele Family. 

Chapter Twenty 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 

The church recognized that the transition to a new minister 
would not be easy for either people or pastor. Getting used to a 
new pastor is always difficult, particularly when it occurs after 
a long pastorate. A majority of the members had joined First Presby- 
terian during the time Dr. Raynal had been here, and many had never 
known another pastor. It would take a person of great gifts and under- 
standing to claim the loyalty of a congregation which had been 
attached to someone who had served them so long. Fortunately, they 
found such a person. 

At the time they agreed to Dr. Raynal's request to the presbytery 
for his retirement, the congregation named "a committee of five 
members consisting of R. D. Grier, John A. Scott, Fred H. Deaton, 
Mrs. David H. Andrews, and Mrs. Lonnie G. Turner ... to take nec- 
essary steps looking towards recommending a new Pastor." 1 The 
committee went to work conscientiously, receiving suggestions of 
persons to be considered, visiting and talking to some of them. After 
careful consideration, they were ready to make a nomination to a con- 
gregational meeting recommending that a call be extended to the Rev. 
Neill Roderick McGeachy, pastor of the Sugar Creek Presbyterian 
Church of Charlotte. The meeting was moderated by the Rev. Roy E. 
Hoke, professor of psychology at Davidson College, who had been 
supplying the pulpit since the retirement of Dr. Raynal. The report of 
the committee was approved, and the call was sent to Mr. McGeachy. 
He responded favorably, subject to the approval of Mecklenburg and 
Concord Presbyteries. The news was spread through the congrega- 
tion, and the people joined zealously in preparing for the coming of 
their new minister and his family. 

Neill Roderick McGeachy was the son of Daniel Patrick McGeachy 
and Lila English McGeachy. He had been born April 2, 1909 at Lenoir, 
N.C. while his father was pastor of the Lenoir Presbyterian Church. 
Neill began his education while the family was in Lewisburg, W. Va. 


where he was a student at the Greenbriar Military School. He com- 
pleted high school in Decatur, Georgia. His brother D. P. McGeachy, Jr. 
had been ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1926. In the fall of 
that year Neill entered Davidson College, where he graduated in 1930. 

After finishing college, he accepted a position as an educational 
missionary under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church, 
becoming Headmaster of the American Mission School in Omdur- 
man, Sudan. His two years in Africa were influential in expanding his 
world view and in strengthening his commitment to the world-wide 
mission of the church. His time on the mission field, was influential in 
leading Neill to make the decision to prepare himself for the ministry, 
the same profession to which his father and brother were dedicated. 

Despite the fact that his father's pastorate was in Decatur, Geor- 
gia, the location of Columbia Theological Seminary, Neill decided to 
attend Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, beginning 
his theological education in September 1932. In later years he said that 
Dr. Ernest Trice Thompson, professor of Church History at Union, was 
the single most influential teacher he ever studied under. When he 
decided to take further graduate study, he selected "Dr. E. T." as his 
faculty advisor. After some years in the ministry, he undertook the 
program to earn the Master of Theology degree which was granted 
him by Union in 1954. His dissertation was on the history of the old 
Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church where he had been the pastor from 
1941 to 1945. The Sugar Creek history was published by that church 
in 1954. 

The quality of this book assured his recognition as a church histo- 
rian and when Concord Presbytery wanted their history written, they 
approached Mr. McGeachy to undertake the task. He devoted himself 
to the research and writing of this major study covering not only the 
presbytery itself, but each church which was a part of it. "Confronted 
By Challenge: A History of Concord Presbytery, 1795-1973" was the title 
under which the presbytery had the result of his intensive and exten- 
sive work published in 1985. This brilliant study will be the standard 
by which future histories of presbyteries and synods will be judged. 
Of course there are many references to old Fourth Creek Church and 
Statesville First Presbyterian and the present writer wants to acknowl- 
edge his indebtedness for them and to Mrs. Frances McGeachy for 
making her husband's files available to him for use in this writing. 

On graduation from Union Seminary in the spring of 1935, Neill 
McGeachy was licensed to preach the gospel by his home presbytery 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 231 

of Atlanta on May 15th. He accepted a call to become pastor of a group 
of churches at Selma, N.C. and was ordained to the ministry by 
Granville Presbytery on July 7, 1935. He was the bachelor minister 
there for only a month, for on August 7th he was married to Frances 
Roberta Hamilton of Oxford, N.C. With her gifts and training she 
complemented his abilities, and they formed an ideal pastoral couple. 
In each place they were to serve, both gave of themselves to the cause 
of Christ and to the strengthening of His church and were acutely 
aware of the needs of the people. 

Mr. McGeachy was to hold two other pastorates before coming to 
Statesville. From 1937 to 1941 he was a member of Concord Presbytery 
for the first time while he was the pastor of the Spencer Presbyterian 
Church. In 1941 the McGeachys moved to Charlotte where Neill 
became pastor of the historic Sugar Creek Church from which he was 
called to Statesville. 

The McGeachys moved from Charlotte on February 13, 1945. The 
congregation had sold the old Kelly Street manse to Mrs. C. E. Raynal 
and was looking forward to building a new manse on the recently 
acquired property adjoining the church after the war was over. 
Arrangements were made for the pastor's family to live in the Hoff- 
man house on West End Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. McGeachy had four 
children: Lila, Margaret ("Peggy"), Neill, Jr., and Elizabeth ("Libby"). 
At the time they moved to Statesville they were aged between eight 
years and five months, and all were to grow to maturity here. One of 
the McGeachy children, "Libby", married a Statesville boy with a long 
time family association to First Presbyterian, William A. Mills. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Mills have served terms as Elders of the Church. "Libby" 
teaches English on the faculty of Davidson College, and they with 
their three sons now live in Davidson. "Bill" is the president and gen- 
eral manager of Paola Mills in Statesville. Lila lives in Bristol, Ten- 
nessee where her husband Richard A. Ray is pastor of the First Pres- 
byterian Church. Peggy attended the Presbyterian School of Christian 
Education in Richmond after completing Agnes Scott College, where 
all three of the girls studied. She married William C. Roberson and 
they live in Staunton, Virginia. Neill Jr. is in business in Charlotte after 
moving there from Winston-Salem where he lived for twenty years. 

On Sunday, February 18, 1945 Mr. McGeachy met with the Session 
for the first time. Concord Presbytery met on February 27th and 
received a certificate from Mecklenburg Presbytery transferring his 
membership so he could accept the call to Statesville. After approving 


his examination, they received him as a member of the presbytery and 
the call of the church was placed in his hands. When he accepted it, a 
commission was named to install him as pastor of the Statesville First 
Presbyterian Church. He was installed on Sunday, March 11, 1945. 
One member of the commission was Dr. C. M. Richards, former pas- 
tor of the church, who preached the installation sermon. 

In the spring the church began the process of providing a manse for 
their new pastor. On April 8th a congregational meeting elected a 
Building Committee to direct its planning and oversee the erection at 
an estimated cost of $15,000. Named to the Building Committee were: 
R. D. Grier, John N. Gilbert, W. H. Allen, Dr. L. O. Gibson, Mrs. Ralph 
T. Holmes, Dr. Ross S. McElwee, and the pastor's wife, Mrs. Frances 
McGeachy After the close of World War II with the surrender of Japan, 
the congregation met again in September and approved raising an 
additional $5,000. or $6,000. and "authorized the Building Committee 
to proceed at once to building a new Manse as fast as possible." 2 The 
total cost was $47,000. 

The old Smith house which stood on the site was removed and the 
property was graded in preparation for start of construction. There 
was a shortage of some materials in the aftermath of the war, but con- 
struction did move forward. A handsome brick house facing West End 
Avenue was erected, and by October 1946 the Building Committee 
reported that the manse was completed and paid for. By Christmas the 
McGeachys were living in the new manse. 

One of the major advances which occurred during the ministry of 
Mr. McGeachy was in the outreach of the church. For years the Park 
Place Chapel had been the primary outpost of First Presbyterian 
with the officers taking responsibility for the work. The church had 
contributed regularly to help support ministers to work with them 
on a part time basis. Since the chapel's opening it had been served 
from time to time by the Reverends E. D. Brown, Bonner Knox, 
J. L. McBride, and William Matheson. When persons at Park Place 
desired to make profession of faith or become members by transfer, 
the Session met with them and they were received and added on the 
roll of Statesville First Presbyterian. During World War II the chapel 
suffered as it lost many of its young people who left Statesville in the 
war effort. This decline was a major factor in the decision to close the 
work in east Statesville. 

The Session, concerned with their wider responsibility to the com- 
munity, invited Miss Rosanne Barnes, extension worker for the Synod 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 233 

of North Carolina, to make a survey of Statesville. Miss Barnes who 
was also Superintendent of Young People's work for Mecklenburg 
Presbytery undertook a careful study and, after completing her work, 
reported to the Congregational Missions Committee of the Session 
suggesting that two new chapels be started, one in the northern out- 
skirts of town and the other in Newtonville, a Negro community off 
North Race Street. Elder J. H. Hill, chairman of the committee, report- 
ed they had considered and approved her report, endorsed Miss 
Barnes' recommendations and urged that these new works be under- 
taken. The Session adopted the report of their committee and autho- 
rized them to be the agent to undertake this expansion. 

The Young Men's Bible Class had built a cabin for the Boy Scout 
Troop which they sponsored, a short distance north of the city limits 
on the farm of John R. Morrison. The week after Miss Barnes' report 
was approved by the Session, an outpost Sunday School was started 
there on Sunday, November 10, 1946. Session Minutes in the follow- 
ing months report that the Sunday School was fully staffed and had 
an average attendance of thirty-five. Recognition was given to the loan 
of a stove by W. E. Morrison and a piano and eighteen chairs by Dr. 
L. O. Gibson. This work was called the Scout Hut Sunday School at 
first but was then named Morrison's Chapel for the owner of the prop- 
erty where it was located. This Sunday School continued as an outpost 
of Statesville First for the next eight years. 

It took longer for the second recommended work to get started. Mr. 
Hill's committee took their responsibility seriously and in April, 1947 
were authorized to purchase property along North Race Street in the 
Newtonville community on which to erect a building. They secured 
lots: one purchased at a cost of $550.00 and a second one by donation. 
An appeal for funds to erect a chapel raised $1,293.00, and building 
was begun in the fall. Completion of the new outpost was reported to 
the Session in April 1948, and they authorized the furniture and 
equipment which had been used at Park Place to be moved into it. The 
Home Made Chair Company of Statesville contributed twentyfive 
chairs to help furnish the new chapel. The Session made an arrange- 
ment with Mr. John Smith, an elder in the Tradd Street Presbyterian 
Church (UPUSA), to superintend this work, promising him a stipend 
of $5.00 a month. The first meeting of the Sunday School there was 
held on April 25, 1948 with an attendance of seventy-seven. They 
selected a superintendent, other officers, and a full set of teachers and 
adopted the name "Cloverdale" for their chapel. Mr. Smith took his 


responsibility for oversight seriously and came regularly to the 
monthly meetings of the Session to report on the work. 

There were several changes in the church staff during the early 
years of Mr. McGeachy's pastorate. Margaret Niblock Harkins had 
offered her resignation as Director of Religious Education after Dr. 
Raynal's retirement, but she was persuaded to stay on in her posi- 
tion during the transition. In June 1945 after Mr. McGeachy was set- 
tled in the work she asked again for her resignation to be accepted. 
The Session agreed and made arrangements with three young women 
from the congregation to take parts of the responsibilities she had car- 
ried until a new Director could be secured. Mrs. Vance Kennerly and 
Miss Cecelia Krider worked with the young people and Miss Mar- 
garet Raynal ran the church office. 

Miss Mary McRae was employed as the Director of Religious Edu- 
cation in November 1945. In addition to her work with the young peo- 
ple, the Sunday School, and the Women's Auxiliary, she assisted 
Rosanne Barnes in making the survey which resulted in the forming 
of Morrison's Chapel and Cloverdale Mission and worked with the Ses- 
sion in establishing these outposts. During Miss McRae's time here the 
Second World War came to a close and the disruption of life in Europe 
and Asia was a matter of concern to Christian people everywhere. The 
Sunday School undertook as a project the support of five war orphans 
in Holland and France. Morrison's Chapel took the responsibility for 
one of these. The records of the Session, the Board of Deacons, and the 
Women show references to collections of used clothing to be sent to 
the war refugees. One case which called forth a special effort occurred 
when the church learned of the difficulties being encountered by the 
divinity students at the theological school of the Reformed Church of 
France, Faculte de Theologie Protestante in Montpellier, France. Dr. Ben- 
jamin R. Lacy, President of Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, had 
visited Montpellier when he had gone to Europe for a meeting of the 
World Council of Churches. He found that the seminary students were 
so short on clothing that in the winter months some would stay in bed 
while their roommates wore their trousers to class, then when they got 
back to their rooms, the one who had been in bed would put on the 
clothes and take a turn in class. The Montpellier school became an 
object of the benevolent giving of Presbyterians in North Carolina and 
Virginia. In 1951 a new building was erected at the school largely sup- 
ported by people from these synods. Miss Margaret Raynal represent- 
ed Union Seminary and the Presbyterian Church, U.S. at its dedication. 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 235 

Some Statesville men secured a plot beside the Catawba River and 
built a summer camp which they donated to Barium Springs Home 
for the benefit of the children in the home. Barium Springs was gen- 
erous in inviting other groups to use Camp Fellowship as it was 
called. Statesville First held its annual Sunday School picnics there and 
Concord Presbytery used the camp for its Pioneer Youth Camps until 
the new Presbytery campground near Old Fort was opened in 1952. 
Miss McRae was active in supporting the camping program and 
securing young people from the church and Morrison's Chapel to par- 
ticipate. Until 1949 the duties of church secretary had been part of 
the responsibilities of the Director of Religious Education. 

Mary McRae served on the staff of the church until July 15, 1948 
when she resigned to accept a position with the First Presbyterian 
Church of St. Petersburg, Florida. When she left a tribute to her was 
printed in the church newsletter, "Ye Fourth Creek Journal." 

"It is impossible to truly evaluate Miss McRae's work. Her quiet, effi- 
cient way won her a large place in our hearts and her life bore true tes- 
timony to her Christian life and faith. You cannot count or estimate an 
influence like hers that will go on bearing fruit through the years that 
lie ahead." 3 

Her move to Florida, however, did not conclude her relationship to 
this congregation. She was to return to Statesville after marrying Dan 
F. Purifoy in June 1949 at Ellerbe, N. C. Mr. Purifoy was first elected as 
a Deacon of the Statesville Church in 1952. 

The ministry of Neill McGeachy here proved valuable to the con- 
gregation. In the annual reports of Presbytery for the church year 
ending April 30, 1949 Statesville First is shown as having received 
the largest number of new members (seventy) and leading the Pres- 
bytery in contributions with donations of $25,876. Under his edi- 
torship the church began to publish a regular newsletter, "Ye Fourth 
Creek Journal", in 1946. With only a couple of interruptions it has 
been distributed regularly for almost fifty years. By the time the Jan- 
uary 1948 issue was printed, the church had added Miss Elizabeth 
McClelland as church secretary and assistant treasurer. This addition 
to the staff was made on the recommendation of the Board of Dea- 
cons that an Assistant Treasurer be secured to enable Miss McRae 
to give her full time to Young People's work. One of Miss McLel- 
land's duties during the five years she was employed by the church 
was to assist Mr. McGeachy in preparing and publishing "Ye Fourth 
Creek Journal". 


Two more members of the church became candidates for the min- 
istry in the early years of Mr. McGeachy's pastorate. Miles Costin 
Wood Jr. was a grandson of the church's long time pastor, W. A. Wood. 
With the endorsement of the Session he became a candidate under the 
care of Concord Presbytery and enrolled in Columbia Seminary after 
completing Davidson College. Miles Wood was ordained by Atlanta 
Presbytery in July 1950 and served pastorates in Georgia and South 
Carolina. Henry Middleton Raynal graduated from Davidson in the 
Spring of 1947 and then attended Union Seminary in Virginia. After 
his graduation he was ordained by Winchester Presbytery on July 
30,1950. At the time they are ordained to the ministry persons are 
received into membership of a presbytery and their names are 
removed from the roll of their home churches. In August 1950 the Ses- 
sion noted the removal of Miles and Middleton from the active roll 
of Statesville First Presbyterian. 

It had been the custom for the young ladies from the student body 
of Mitchell to sit as a body in the first pews of the center section at the 
Sunday morning services. We do not know whether some had com- 
plained about being seated under the eye of the whole congregation, 
or if there were some other reason, but the Session appointed its clerk, 
W. L. Gilbert, to confer with Miss Frances Stribling to "ascertain if it 
would be agreeable for college students to occupy other pews of their 
choice in order that our officers and their families might fill the front 
pews making it more attractive for our minister and leaving the back 
pews for latecomers." 4 

Another matter showing the relationship between the college and 
the church is seen in the minutes of another Session meeting. At the 
time Mitchell College was preparing to observe its ninetieth anniver- 
sary, those planning the celebration requested permission to borrow 
and exhibit "the Baptismal Bowl presented to the Church by the pupils 
of Statesville Female Institute." 5 The silver bowl used by the church for 
the last 135 years is inscribed: "From the Pupils of Statesville Female 
College — 1858." This means the gift was made while E. W Faucett 
was President of the College, the first year Miss Margaret Mitchell was 
employed as a member of the faculty. The first pastor of Fourth Creek 
Church to use the bowl in administration of the Sacrament of Baptism 
was Walter W Pharr, who was installed in 1859. 

As a result of the coming of a new pastor, election of Deacons was 
not held in 1945. The third class serving under the rotation system was 
chosen at a congregational meeting on March 10, 1946. Elected to com- 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 237 

plete the first round of limited terms were: Isaac T. Avery Jr., Lee A. 
Black, Mark Davis, John G. Knox, Francis C. McAuley, Joseph G. 
Miller, John Scott Raynal, and James M. Sample. In January of that 
year five additional Elders had been chosen: D. H. Andrews, James A. 
Brady, Fred H. Deaton, Dr. L. O. Gibson, and Dr. J. H. Nicholson. Here- 
after elections of Deacons to serve six year terms were held every two 
years. Elders were still named and ordained to serve for life. In 1949 
and in 1953 new Elders were added to the Session. On Sunday, 
December 11, 1949 Fred H. Crawford, Harlee H. King, John Mont- 
gomery, T. Francis Scott, and Lonnie G. Turner were ordained and 
installed. Three more Elders were chosen by a congregational meeting 
in September 1953: Henry D. Rhodes, S. H. Stevenson, and Robert A. 
White. Mr. Stevenson had been previously ordained as an Elder before 
uniting with the Statesville First Church and was installed. The other 
two were ordained and installed on October 25th. 

Since Mary McRae had resigned, a committee from the Session had 
been seeking a new Director of Christian Education. The search was 
brought to a conclusion when Miss Isabel Ross agreed to take the posi- 
tion. She assumed her work as D. C. E. on March 1, 1949. Isabel was 
a member of the Ross family who were noted as Foreign Missionaries 
of the Presbyterian Church. Her father, Harvey L. Ross, her brother, 
Harvey Jr., and her uncle, William A. Ross, had all helped to spread 
the Gospel to the people of Mexico. One of the great contributions 
Isabel Ross made to the congregation was in helping them, both youth 
and adult, come to a better understanding of the worldwide mission 
of the church. While she was here, after a careful study by the Session, 
a new organization was founded for the men of the congregation cor- 
responding to the Women's Auxiliary. At first this group was known 
simply as the Men's Club. As the denominational program for men 
was developed, this became the Men of the Church. They met month- 
ly for dinner and a program. 

Miss Ross continued as the Director of Christian Education into 
September 1950 when she resigned in order to enter the School of 
Christian Education of Princeton Theological Seminary to take addi- 
tional training. Before she left, Mr. McGeachy had enlisted Miss Mary 
Louise Warlick, a member of the church and daughter of Elder W. T. 
Warlick, to replace Miss Ross in working with the young people. Mary 
Louise was a graduate of Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia. Her 
knowledge of the congregation and the people of Statesville made her 
readily acceptable to the church. She began her work at the church 


September 1st and thus was able to work with Isabel Ross in mak- 
ing the transition. In 1951 with strong support from the men's group 
the church secured the campgrounds on the Catawba river which had 
belonged to Barium Springs Home. Improvements were made and a 
fence was erected around the property to protect it. This was named 
the "Billy Neely Boy Scout Camp" in honor of a young man from the 
church who had lost his life. Under Miss Warlick's guidance, plans 
were made for the young people of the Statesville First Church to 
have a week of learning and entertainment at the camp. However, 
after the plans were all made, the event had to be cancelled because 
of the polio epidemic which occurred during the summer of 1951. 
The health authorities urged that young people's gatherings be 
avoided for the time being. Miss Warlick served the church until the 
spring of 1952 when she resigned to marry Dr. Frank Niblock, Jr. of 
Concord, whom she had come to know through the youth work of 
Concord Presbytery. 

In September 1953 the church celebrated the Two Hundredth 
Anniversary of the first gathering of the people of the Fourth Creek 
Community for common worship. The Session had named a commit- 
tee to plan for the observance, and in July, they reported with recom- 
mendation that a celebration be held on Sunday, September 11, 1953 
with a service of worship at the church and the presentation of a 
pageant for the whole community that evening. The Statesville Daily 
Record published a special "Bicentennial Section" of the paper giving 
a sketch of the history of the congregation and its relationship to the 
community which grew up around it. Included were articles on min- 
isters who had been pastor here, some of the first settlers, pioneer 
women of the area, the development of music in the church, Fort 
Dobbs, and a number of individuals who were important in the 
church's life. 

On Sunday morning the church was filled to overflowing by those 
gathered to participate in the bicentennial service. Extra chairs had 
been brought in, but even so some were not able to find a seat and par- 
ticipated standing in the vestibule. Pastor Neill McGeachy conducted 
the service which included special music by the church choir under 
the direction of Miss Rosa Watts, with the organ played by Miss 
Gladys Stephens. Dr. J. McDowell Richards, the President of Colum- 
bia Seminary and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian Church, U. S. preached. His sermon, "The Task of the Church in 
Our Time", emphasized reasons why people should be loyal to their 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 239 

church, using examples from the life of this church as illustrations. Dr. 
Richards was a native of Statesville having been born while his father, 
Charles M. Richards, was pastor of Statesville First Church. Following 
the morning worship, all present were invited to a picnic lunch in the 
church dining room held by the Women of the Church. 

The whole community was invited to gather at the baseball park for 
the presentation of a pageant tracing the history of the two hundred 
years of the church and the community. "The Story of the First Pres- 
byterian Church of Statesville, North Carolina 1753-1953" had been 
written and was directed by Virginia Fraser Evans (Mrs. J. S., Jr.). 
About one hundred and fifty men, women, young people, and chil- 
dren from the congregation, the Board of Deacons, and the Session 
were in the cast. Also participating were the choir, with additional 
singers from six local churches and the High School Band. With 
authentic costumes, horses and wagons, and some of the young peo- 
ple playing the part of Indians, the whole was an exciting presenta- 
tion. The newspaper estimated that three thousand-five hundred 
attended. The church had copies of the pageant printed listing all of 
those who took part and including the Order of Worship used at the 
morning service. 

At the beginning of 1952, the city officials approached the officers 
of the church, seeking their approval of a plan to remove a section of 
the stone wall around Fourth Creek Burying Ground. They proposed 
to move it back about eight feet in order to widen the street as it 
passed the southeast corner. At first there was approval of the pro- 
posal, but as word spread on what was proposed, very strong oppo- 
sition was raised. An official protest from the Women of the Church 
came to the Session two weeks after the matter had been presented 
to them by Mr. Lineback representing the city. Letters to the editor 
decrying the proposal were published in the local paper. Opposition 
was partially based upon the fact that the area to be cut off of the 
cemetery probably contained some graves, even though there were no 
tombstones standing in it. Fortunately, when the church's lawyer, John 
A. Scott, drew up the deed by which the cemetery had been trans- 
ferred to the city at the time the stone wall was set in concrete, a stip- 
ulation in the deed stated that if the city ever ceased to maintain the 
property solely for the purpose of a memorial burying ground, the 
property would revert to the church. The women's protest had asked 
for a careful examination of the affected area to assure that no graves 
were in it. In a motion, the Session requested that such an examination 


be made before any work proceeded. Elder F. H. Deaton was appoint- 
ed to explain the church's position to the city officials. This action 
resulted in the city's delay in taking any action on their proposal. 

In August the Session rescinded the tentative approval they had 
granted on January 20th for a change in part of the wall. The court had 
granted a temporary restraining order, and the Deacons recommend- 
ed to the congregation that a permanent restraining order be secured. 
A congregational meeting on August 23rd took action declaring their 
intention that in all matters concerning the cemetery and its wall, the 
church would be "governed by the provisions of the Deed. Regardless 
of anything done heretofore we adhere to the provisions of the Deed." 
The congregation considered the city's proposal and instructed their 
Trustees "to be alert if any work is started and take action to defend 
the terms of the deed." 6 [see footnote #7] 

In March 1952 a new Director of Christian Education was secured. 
Helen Brown was a native of Iredell County and graduate of 
Mitchell College and the Assembly's Training School in Richmond. 
She had been D. C. E. at the First Presbyterian Church of Reidsville, 
N. C. before coming to Statesville. The first reference to her in the 
Session Minutes was on May 6, 1952 when approval was given for 
her to be absent in order to serve on the staff of the Presbytery's Pio- 
neer Camp that summer. Toward the close of her time here Miss 
Brown was given a leave of absence to make a tour of Europe. For 
seven weeks of that time she worked in a settlement house in East 
London organizing religious programs for the children. After her 
trip she returned to the church where she worked until May 1, 1955 
when she left Statesville to become Area Director of Christian Edu- 
cation for Granville and Fayetteville Presbyteries. She was married 
to Robert G. Hall and they live in Due West, S. C. 

In July 1952 Elizabeth McLelland resigned as the Church Secretary 
and Assistant Treasurer after four years' faithful work in the church 
office. Her service had proven to be so valuable that the Deacons 
began an immediate search for someone to fill the position. In the 
interim the D. C. E., Helen Brown, undertook extra duties, but by 
October a new Secretary- Assistant Treasurer had been secured, Mrs. 
E. H. (Pat) Mcjunkin. At the same meeting when the employment of 
Mrs. Mcjunkin was announced, the Deacons heard a report that more 
heat was needed "in the offices of the Church Secretary, the Director 
of Religious Education, and the Area Worker." 8 The Board ordered 
that gas heaters should be secured and installed in these offices. 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 241 

The Area Worker referred to was an employee of the Synod of 
North Carolina. Earlier the Synod had a Regional Director of Religious 
Education, the Reverend J. O. Mann. After World War II the Synod 
secured several area workers to assist him in providing service to the 
churches, particularly those which were too small to have their own 
Directors of Christian Education. This work proved so valuable that 
the Synod increased to five the number of Area Workers. One of the 
new workers was to serve Concord and Winston-Salem Presbyteries. 
The Synod Committee asked the Statesville First Church if they would 
be willing to provide office space for her. After consideration, the Ses- 
sion agreed to the request and Miss Anne McMichael of Orangeburg, 
S. C. moved to Statesville in the fall of 1952 to undertake this work. 
Session Minutes show that she was received as a member of the 
Statesville Church on December 1, 1952 on transfer from the Riverside 
Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Florida. 

The Statesville Church had given leadership in the work of the 
Synod and the Presbytery ever since Miss Mamie McElwee had been 
the organizer for synod's youth work in the days after World War I. 
Persons from the church had served on the various committees and 
boards appointed by both bodies. Using the facilities of Mitchell Col- 
lege and Camp Fellowship on the Catawba River, this community had 
provided sites for the Presytery's Senior High Fellowship and Pioneer 
Camps. The Presbytery recognized however the need for better facil- 
ities in which to carry on its conference program. The Reverend 
Robert Turner, Concord Presbytery's Executive Secretary, found a suit- 
able site for construction of a camp near Old Fort, N. C. Mr. 
McGeachy, as Chairman of the body's Committee on Education, gave 
the committee's report to a special called meeting of the Presbytery 
held in Statesville First Church on June 15, 1951, recommending that 
the property be purchased for establishment of a conference center. He 
reported that an "Elder of the Presbytery" had worked with Mr. Turn- 
er and had made a substantial contribution for this purpose. Approval 
was given for the purchase of the six hundred acre site belonging to 
Mrs. D. M. Mcintosh near Old Fort. The donor had also promised 
additional contributions toward the cost of establishing the camp. A 
year later, July 15, 1952, Presbytery met at the new camp and held its 
dedication. At this time the Committee revealed that the anonymous 
donor was Robert D. Grier, an Elder of the Statesville First Church. 
The new facility was named "Camp Grier" in honor of the Reverend 
John McDill Grier, father of the donor. Two of the persons appointed 


to the Camp and Conference Committee, Herbert C. Hawthorne and 
John Gilbert, were Deacons of the Statesville First Church. 

Camp Grier proved to be a very valuable asset to the presbytery. In 
addition to the camps conducted by Concord Presbytery, it was made 
available to groups from other presbyteries which did not own camp- 
grounds, and when not otherwise needed, was rented to non-Pres- 
byterian groups. Officers' retreats or other groups from individual 
churches gathered there for planning and training. Under the leader- 
ship of the D. C. E. the young people of Statesville First Church had 
been holding annual fall retreats for inspiration, planning, and recre- 
ation. After Camp Grier opened our young people held their Octo- 
ber retreats there. 

The success of these gatherings was influential in the decision to 
hold an annual retreat for the whole church on a weekend in May 
The first church-wide retreat was held May 18 and 19, 1957 at Camp 
Grier. Whole families attended, many arriving at the camp early 
on Saturday allowing time to take a swim or for some to fish while 
others played games, hiked, or sat talking informally with their 
friends. One snapshot which was printed in "Ye Fourth Creek Jour- 
nal" shows three men pretending to assist in holding up a six inch 
fish which one of them had caught from the lake. In the late after- 
noon, the opening sessions were held, with opportunity for small 
group discussion. After supper, family recreation was held and then 
a candlelight service by the lake before bedtime. Sunday morning 
the congregation's regular worship service was conducted by the 
pastor there at the camp. A bus and automobiles came up from 
Statesville in time for the morning service bringing those who had 
not been able to be there Saturday. In the Heritage Room at the 
church is a wonderful collection of pictures taken at the Retreats 
over the years by photographers from the congregation: Mrs. Sue 
Sample, Ben Stimson, and Max Tharpe. The first church Retreat was 
such a success that it was readily adopted as a regular part of the 
annual program. 

Scouting has been a part of the Church's program for young peo- 
ple from the time of the Second World War. There had been Scout- 
ing in Statesville since shortly after World War I, with sponsorship 
by lodges or other groups. In 1941, at the suggestion of W T. War- 
lick, the Young Men's Bible Class agreed to apply for a charter to 
organize a Boy Scout Troop as a part of their outreach to the com- 
munity. Troop No. 10 was chartered on November 30, 1941 with 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 243 

W. T. Warlick as their first Scoutmaster. He served for four years 
and, as reported in Louis A. Brown's "History of the Young Men's 
Bible Class", was followed by I. T. Avery, A. L. Mills, Jr., Louis 
MacKesson, Jr., Henry R. Long, Charlie Mills, Jim Pharr and 
"Brownie" Earle. 9 

At first the Scouts met at the Church but, recognizing their desire 
for a place away from town, the Young Men's Class secured a site 
on the land of John R. Morrison north of town. A Scout building was 
erected and equipped in which the boys could stay overnight and 
carry on their activities. As mentioned above, this was the site 
where an outpost Sunday School was established in 1946: Morri- 
son's Chapel. The building was used jointly by the Scouts and Mor- 
rison's Chapel for the next few years. In April 1951 it was decided 
to establish the Scout camp at the old Camp Fellowship property on 
the Catawba River which was named the "Billy Neely Memorial 
Boy Scout Camp". The Session adopted a series of regulations on its 
use, particularly swimming controls. 10 For the next five years the 
camp on the Catawba was a popular place with the Scouts from the 
Statesville Church and was made available for other Boy Scout 
Troops from the area. 

Girl Scouts were organized and met in the Park Place Chapel 
building until it was taken down. Later the Session was to approve 
organization of Cub Scout Packs and Brownie Troops for the 
younger boys and girls. Scouting has been a valuable addition to 
the program of Statesville First Presbyterian Church. 

Footnotes to Chapter XX 

1. Session Book IV - Minutes of Congregation, October 8, 1944 

2. Session Book VII - Minutes of Congregation, September 30, 1945 

3. Ye Fourth Creek Journal Vol III, No 7, August 1948 

4. Session Book VI - op . cit. Minutes October 7, 1946 

5. Ibid Minutes April 1, 1949 

6. Ibid Minutes August 3 & August 6, 1953 

7. The writer has been told that in fact the part of the wall in question was moved "at night" to 

widen the road, but he has not found any reference to such a change in the Minutes of the 
Session, the Diaconate, or the Congregation, nor in "Ye Fourth Creek Journal" or other pub- 
lications of the congregation. 

8. Deacon's Minutes October 13, 1952 

9. Brown, Louis A., The History of the Young Men's Bible Class p. 37 

10. Session Book VII - Minutes August 6, 1951 



Reverend Neill Roderick McGeachy 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 


Concord Presbytery was given 600 acres of beautiful North Carolina mountain prop- 
erty near Old Fort by Mr. R.D. Grier in memory of his father, Dr. John McDill Grier, a 
Presbyterian minister. The camp could accomodate 150 people in cabins and has a 
beautiful lake, dining hall and outdoor meeting hall. Following are photographs of 
church retreats during the 1950's and 1960's. 



This is a group of the young people from this church at Old Fort on their way to Camp 
Grier. They are, from left to right, Peggy, Malcolm Cameron, Faye Pharr, Polly Crouch, 
Ann Shuford, Kitty Summers, Terry Beaver, Westbrook Fowler and Becky Miller. 

Lake at Camp Grier, 1955. 

Pastor Neill R. McGeachy 




The Cecil Graybill family, left, and the Herbert Hawthorne family, right, with Mr. R.D. 
Grier, far right, who gave the camp to Concord Presbytery. 



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1 1 




Chapter Twenty-One 

The Development Program 

There had been a close relationship between Mitchell College and 
the Statesville First Presbyterian Church since the school's 
founding by Concord Presbytery in 1856. The small college had 
made a valuable contribution to the cultural life of the community and 
surrounding area but had struggled financially from its early days. It 
has been noted that for a time the school passed out of the control of 
Concord Presbytery, but it never lost its strong Presbyterian associa- 
tion. Support from the churches had been sufficient to keep the doors 
open, and many young women and men received their introduction 
to higher education at the Junior College, but the administration and 
trustees were rarely able to meet the standards to enable them to be 
truly competitive. 

Two factors were important in bringing about a new change in the 
college. After World War II the state made major changes in the sys- 
tem of higher education supported with tax money. The University sys- 
tem was expanded with the opening of new schools across the state, 
such as branches of the University at Charlotte and Asheville and sup- 
port of community colleges. These schools attracted many who in ear- 
lier years might have become students at one of the Presbyterian insti- 
tutions. In 1952 the Ford Foundation made a grant of $50,000 to the 
Synod of North Carolina to make a study of the schools related to the 
Synod and its Presbyteries. A distinguished group of educators and 
church leaders made the study and reported its judgement that Pres- 
byterians in North Carolina were trying to support too many small col- 
leges and recommended their consolidation. St Andrews Presbyterian 
College at Laurinburg was established from Flora McDonald and Pres- 
byterian Junior Colleges, opening its new campus in September 1961. 
Peace College was transferred to the Raleigh First Presbyterian Church. 

I The report, as adopted by Synod, recommended that Mitchell College 
be merged with Lees-McRae at Banner Elk, N.C. There was strong sen- 
timent for keeping the college in Statesville, and when Concord Pres- 


bytery met in September 1955, it adopted a resolution to transfer the col- 
lege and its assets to an educational foundation to operate it as an inde- 
pendent community college if certain conditions were met. A new 
Mitchell College Foundation was organized and incorporated with the 
goal of establishing and operating Mitchell as an independent com- 
munity college, carrying on "the Christian traditions of program and 
teaching that had been a part of Mitchell's history through the years." 1 
A financial drive to raise "a minimum of $350,000 from the communi- 
ty of Statesville and the friends of Mitchell, to be used as endowment 
fund" was conducted by the trustees of the new Foundation. 2 The cam- 
paign was a success, raising over $400,000, and thus meeting one of the 
conditions set out by the presbytery for transfer of the college. Neill 
McGeachy was Chairman of the Trustees of Mitchell College, and he 
reported to the October 21, 1958 meeting of Concord Presbytery that the 
conditions had been met and, speaking for the Trustees, recommend- 
ed that the college and its assets be transferred to the Mitchell College 
Foundation Incorporated, effective December 31, 1958. The Presbytery 
approved, and Mitchell's new life as an independent community col- 
lege was begun. Members of this church were active in the foundation, 
and the college's growth and present vitality are evidences of the wis- 
dom shown in enlisting the whole community in management and sup- 
port of Mitchell as Statesville's college. 

The Rev. Robert Turner, the first Executive Secretary of Concord Pres- 
bytery, had been called to the position in January 1945. He was already 
well known in the churches for his years as advisor to the young peo- 
ple of the presbytery while he had been pastor of the Bethpage Church. 
As Executive Secretary he combined the responsibilities of Home Mis- 
sions Secretary, Presbytery Treasurer, and Religious Education Director. 
We have noted the part he played in securing and developing Camp 
Grier. Under his leadership the publication of The Concord Presbyterian 
to report and promote the activities of the body was begun. After nine 
years of faithful service he resigned in the fall of 1953 to take work in 
Mecklenburg Presbytery. While he was the Executive Secretary, Pres- 
bytery's office was in Morganton. When his replacement was secured, 
the office was moved to Statesville. 

As soon as Robert Turner left, the Council of Concord Presbytery 
began an intensive search to find his successor. They named a special 
committee to seek a new Executive Secretary and on March 4, 1954 in 
a meeting at the Statesville First Church recommended the Rev. Thomp- 
son B. Southall, Jr., who for the previous eight years had been Field Sec- 

The Development Program 257 

retary of Home Missions for New Orleans Presbytery. The body fol- 
lowed the recommendation, and on April 20, 1954 he was installed as 
the second Executive Secretary of the Presbytery. Arrangements had 
been made to rent space in the North Carolina National Bank building 
in Statesville, and Mr. Southall established his new office here. Elder 
R. D. Grier was active in bringing the Southalls to Statesville and helped 
arrange for them to have a manse on North Center Street. The congre- 
gation welcomed the coming of the Southalls and the establishment of 
Presbytery's office in this community. 

The congregations in Iredell County were strengthened by having 
the Presbytery's office so conveniently located for them. Many of the 
Presbytery's committee meetings and called meetings of the body were 
held in Statesville First Church which increased involvement with the 
work of the larger church and bore fruit in the life of the local congre- 
gation. When they moved, Mrs. Southall made this her church home. 
Mr. Southall was willing to supply the pulpit from time to time and to 
moderate the Session and meetings of the congregation when he was 
needed at the request of Mr. McGeachy 

The church was blessed in another way by their coming. Mrs. Lillian 
Crane Southall was a trained Director of Christian Education. When 
Helen Brown resigned as D. C. E. in 1955, the Session through its Edu- 
cation Committee asked Mrs. Southall to become the "temporary D. 
C. E." 3 Her work was so acceptable that in only a few months the "tem- 
porary" part was forgotten, and the Session secured her agreement to 
continue as a regular member of the staff. She served the church as 
Director of Christian Education for the next ten years. It would be hard 
to overstate the influence of her work during her tenure at First Pres- 
byterian, particularly with the youth. Mrs. Southall and Mr. McGeachy 
were a team with a shared interest in Christian Education and a keen 
desire to supply scriptural foundation to the congregation. Many of the 
youth programs of the current members of First Church were institut- 
ed by Lillian Southall and Neill McGeachy during this exciting and vital 
period in the church's history. 

The Statesville First Church had been faithful through the years in 
giving to the benevolent causes of the denomination. In addition to sup- 
port of the church's wider program, they had contributed generously to 
specific needs in this area. Mitchell College, Barium Springs Home for 
children, and smaller churches in the town and county had all been 
objects of substantial support. When the budget for 1956 was prepared, 
it included an increased commitment to the cause of World Missions. 


Through the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church, the 
congregation agreed to undertake the full support of one of the denom- 
ination's foreign missionaries. Miss Shirley McRee, a native of Texas 
and a graduate of the Assembly's Training School in Richmond, had 
gone to the American Presbyterian Mission after some years service as 
Director of Christian Education in Oklahoma City, Okla. She was sta- 
tioned at the Kasha Station of the Congo Mission as the first woman 
evangelistic missionary there. First Presbyterian's support covered her 
salary, travel, and medical expenses. 

There was close communication with regular correspondence 
between Miss McRee and the people in the church. She signed her let- 
ters, "Your missionary to the Congolese", and the relationship helped 
strengthen the congregation's zeal for the overseas spread of the Gospel. 
She was "our missionary" for five years. During the World Mission Sea- 
son in 1958 Shirley McRee was home on furlough and came to 
Statesville for a visit of several days. She spoke at the Sunday morning 
service and at two other gatherings planned for her. 

Another change which occurred at the church was the retirement of 
Z. P. Sides as the sexton at the end of December 1956, after over twen- 
ty years of faithful service. The first reference the writer has found to the 
employment of help to clean the church is in the Minutes of the Board 
of Deacons in October 1887. At that time the Deacons agreed that the 
"girls" of the congregation "would be paid $24.00 per year for clean- 
ing the church." 4 Apparently, there was a sexton who, it is assumed 
built the fires, mowed the grass and tended to other duties, but his 
name is not listed. In May 1888 he was instructed "to keep the church- 
yard gates closed to keep cattle from grazing on the grass." 5 In May 
1891 the church treasurer reported to the Deacons that the girls had not 
been paid and that some was owed to the "old sexton", but that the 
"new sexton" had been paid in full. The first sexton whose name is 
given was C. B. Morrison, who was employed in March 1893 at a salary 
of $50.00 per annum. The Deacon's minutes for the following years 
show that there were a number of changes in the persons filling the 
position, but the names of the ones they employed as sexton are not 
shown. At the time the present building was erected in the 1920s the jan- 
itor was J. W. Thompson. He took care of the church until he was 
replaced by Z. P. Sides in 1935. 

The furnace room was Mr. Sides' headquarters and it became a 
favorite place for the men to have a smoke on Sunday morning before 
their Bible Class began and after class was over before the morning ser- 

The Development Program 259 

vice. Chairs arranged around the room also attracted the young peo- 
ple as they assembled before supper and their evening activities. Before 
the coming of Glenn Willard in 1941 the staff of the church consisted 
of the pastor and Mr. Sides. After he had been the janitor for some years, 
he asked the officers to replace the old reel grass mower with a gasoline 
motor powered one and offered to mow the grass at the manse as well 
as the church if one were secured. The writer remembers this because 
before the new mower was purchased, it had been his responsibility to 
keep the grass cut at the manse. Another memory I have was of a time 
when Mr. Sides was painting the roof of the church and let me go up 
there with him one day under careful supervision for a good view of the 
skyline of Statesville. 

In the summer of 1956 Mr. Sides was given a leave of absence 
because of failing health. The Deacons authorized the employment of 
Andy Blackburn at an hourly rate to fill in, and he continued through 
the fall. When Mr. Sides resigned at the end of 1956, Mr. Blackburn was 
appointed as janitor. It turned out that the new janitor's health was not 
good, and by April, it had become necessary to replace him. The Dea- 
cons secured Mitchell Turner as the next janitor. He was employed sub- 
ject to approval of a medical examination to be given by Dr. Paul 
Deaton and promised wages of $46.50 a week, with a raise to $50.00 
after six months. He continued to serve for several years until he was 
replaced by Boyd Orren. In the following years there were a series of 
men who had responsibility as sexton: Boyd Orren was followed by 
H. J. Hairston, James T. Tate, Jr., Gales Johnson. 

In order to assist the janitor in caring for the church, the Deacons 
employed Mrs. Bertha Bryant as "Church Maid". She took oversight 
of cleaning the church and served groups of the congregation in many 
ways, including going with the Young People on their retreats at Camp 
Grier. Beginning about 1960 she was assisted by her sister, Mrs. Min- 
nie Douglas. When Mrs. Bryant resigned in September 1962 the Dea- 
con's Minutes report that she "has been with the Church seven years" 
and ordered that Mrs. Minnie Douglas should be employed "for longer 
hours." 5 The next month the Session Minutes report that she was now 
the Church Maid full time. Mrs. Douglas became a loyal member of the 
church staff, filling the position of Maid for over twenty years. 

"As a member of the staff her duties never ended. She was always 
cheerful and willing. Regardless of the number of people to be fed, Min- 
nie would always say, 'Bring them in, one more won't hurt.' " At her 
retirement on September 25, 1983 she was honored at a surprise lun- 


cheon and was presented with "a handsome candlelabrum with an 
engraved inscription: Minnie Douglas Loyal friend to First Presbyter- 
ian Church, Statesville, N. C. September 25, 1983." 6 

Shortly after the 1953 Anniversary celebration the Session named a 
LongRange Planning Committee to study the church, its needs, and 
how it might best fulfill its responsibilities in the years ahead. The com- 
mittee was composed of thirteen members from the Session and Board 
of Deacons. Among the matters they studied were the need for physi- 
cal improvements of the church building, provision of a chapel, expan- 
sion of the educational facilities, the possible establishment of new work 
in east Statesville and whether to secure an assistant minister as an 
addition to the church staff. Their study led to several improvements 
even before the total Development Program was ready to be present- 
ed to the congregation. 

The Margaret Raynal Bible Class in the Sunday School undertook a 
project to renovate the room which was known as the Prayer Meeting 
Room. Some of the women had begun to raise funds to improve this 
room and make it into a chapel which could be used for small worship 
services, weddings and funerals, as well as a place for meditation and 
for Bible Classes. They presented their idea to the Women of the 
Church, and it was adopted as a project of the women's organization. 
Approval was also secured from the Long-Range Planning Committee. 

When proposed plans were drawn up, it was recognized that there 
would be much more to do than just redecorate an existing room. The 
total project would include removing a wall so as to include what had 
been the Session Room as a part of the new Chapel, opening a door at 
the back of the room, and making improvements at the outside 
entrance. In addition there would be the expense of the furnishings 
and of making some changes in the office next to the chapel to provide 
a hallway. It was obvious that the improvement would be more 
expensive than originally envisioned by the Women of the Church, 
and it seemed that the desire for a chapel would be delayed for a long 
time while the women raised the funds without interfering with their 
regular activities. 

However, the January 1958 issue of "Ye Fourth Creek Journal" 
included a drawing of plans for the proposed chapel prepared by J. W. 
Johnston, Sr., who, with G. P. Scott, Jr. and Pastor McGeachy was named 
by the Deacons as a committee to carry out the proposal. Also report- 
ed was the news that a Deacon of the church, Gordon P. Scott, had 
offered a substantial contribution to complete the chapel and provide 

The Development Program 261 

for its furnishing, a piano and an electric organ. The officers approved 
acceptance of this gift and work was begun in the spring. By fall the 
new chapel was completed and was dedicated in memory of the 
donor's parents, the Reverend John Addison Scott D.D. (1852-1925) and 
Mrs. Lucy Waddell Scott (1858-1942). The divided chancel with reading 
desk, pulpit, and communion table was built in the expanded part of 
the space which had been the meeting room for the Session. The car- 
peted Chapel had pews seating one hundred, and was furnished with 
a large red leather Bible, a communion set, and a brass Celtic Cross 
mounted on a marble base from the Scottish Isle of Iona. Thus one of the 
first needs recognized in the extensive Development Program, growing 
out of the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee, was complet- 
ed before the total plan was ready to be presented to the congregation. 

Another memorial gift which was used to enrich the worship of the 
church came from gifts given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Mills. The 
exact assignment of these funds was left to the officers. After conferring 
with the family, it was decided to use the N. B. Mills fund to purchase a 
new Communion set for the church. In the Spring of 1957, an order was 
placed for twelve silver-plated Communion trays with 4 covers and 
bases and two additional sterling offering plates, which were engraved 
"Noble Bloomfield Mills and Elmina Poston Mills." Anew Presbyterian 
Church had been organized in 1956 in the northwest corner of Iredell 
County, the Love Valley Presbyterian Church. After the new commu- 
nion service was put into use, four of the old wooden trays were given 
to the Love Valley congregation. 

The work which had been done by the Long-Range Planning Com- 
mittee led to the naming of a Development Committee to carry out the 
program to meet the needs which faced the church. Four Elders and five 
Deacons were named to the Development Committee which had as its 
chairman Elder Nathan McElwee and vice-chairman Deacon F. M. 
Steele. The other members were Elders F. H. Deaton, J. N. Gilbert and 
R. D. Grier, and Deacons I. T Avery, Jr., C. D. Benbow, H. R. Long, and 
G. P. Scott, Jr. They prepared and presented to the officers and then to 
the congregation proposals for a three-fold development program. First 
was to purchase land and aid in the establishment of a new Presbyter- 
ian Church in East Statesville, making a contribution of about $70,000 
toward the cost of the erection of their building. The next and most 
expensive part was to be purchase of land adjoining the Church prop- 
erty and erection of a Children's Building to provide more adequately 
for the educational program. The third part of the Development Pro- 


gram was to renovate the sanctuary. First Presbyterian had the largest 
seating capacity of any church in Statesville, so there was no need to 
expand it. However, the room was unchanged from the time the church 
had been built in the middle 1920's except for painting. There was grat- 
itude for the splendid way the sanctuary had served the congregation 
for over thirty years, but many shared the desire to have it freshened 
and made more worshipful. 

The proposed Development Program was presented to the congre- 
gation at a dinner meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 1959. Nathan McEl- 
wee as chairman of the Development Program reported the recom- 
mendations as they had been approved by the Board of Deacons and 
the Elders. Pastor McGeachy and others spoke explaining different 
parts of the plan. After discussion, the congregation voted to endorse 
the proposals and agreed to participate in a major financial drive to 
underwrite the work. 

Knowing that this proposal was coming before the church, the Dea- 
cons had decided to conduct a campaign for support of the Develop- 
ment Program separate from the regular Every Member Canvass held 
for support of the church's budget. A statement distributed by the 
Development Committee as they began the drive stated: 

"This is an opportunity for each member to participate equally in the first 
real challenge this Church has faced in over twenty years. Not equally in 
the sense that each member should contribute a like sum of money — but 
a like sum of loyalty, devotion and sacrifice together with a sum of money 
according to each one's ability in relation to the way the Lord has blessed 
him materially. For certain members an amount of one hundred dollars 
for three years may represent a real personal sacrifice . . . for others a 
pledge of five thousand dollars in addition to regular yearly budget 
pledges may fail to do that individual justice." 7 

Response to the campaign was very favorable. The officers had 
divided the congregation into family units and two hundred forty-five 
of them pledged $246,000 to underwrite the program. Pledges were to 
be paid over a three year period beginning in 1959. These gifts plus oth- 
ers that were received from friends and nonresident members made it 
possible to carry out the Development Program in the next few years. 

The first step taken in carrying out the program of advancement was 
in securing an Assistant Pastor. In the summer of 1957 Mr. James E. 
Atwood, a rising middler at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, 
had worked at the church as assistant to Mr. McGeachy. His service 
proved to be so satisfactory that the Session sought to call him to 

The Development Program 263 

become Assistant Pastor after his seminary graduation. After giving 
serious consideration to returning to Statesville, Mr. Atwood chose 
instead to become Pastor of the Wallace, N. C. Church. 

The search for an assistant continued, and in August 1959 a call was 
extended to the Rev. Eugene Daniel Witherspoon, Jr., also a graduate of 
Union Seminary. He came to Statesville after having been ordained by 
Asheville Presbytery where he served a pastorate in Andrews, N.C. He, 
Mrs. Peggy Witherspoon, and their daughter Kay came to the church in 
October and lived first in an apartment on Harrell Street and later in the 
Frank Thomas house on Ridgeway Avenue. He was received as a mem- 
ber of Concord Presbytery on October 20, 1959. While he was the Assis- 
tant Pastor, Gene Witherspoon aided Mr. McGeachy in leading the con- 
gregation's worship, preaching the Gospel, visiting the congregation, 
and overseeing the educational program. A second major part of his 
responsibility was to work with the Session and the residents of east 
Statesville looking towards the establishment of a new church, as envi- 
sioned in the Development Program. 

After World War II there had been considerable development in that 
part of town, and a substantial number of members of First Presbyter- 
ian now lived there. One of the early assignments given to Mr. Wither- 
spoon was to make a survey of east Statesville to ascertain the desire 
of the residents living there for a new Presbyterian Church in that part 
of town. The result of his survey showed support for the proposal 
which had been discussed for several years. 

In the fall of 1959 the Session divided the Development Committee 
into three subcommittees with responsibility for the three major projects 
to be undertaken. R. D. Grier, L. A. Parks, and L. S. Gilliam were named 
as a Church Expansion Committee to seek a proper site for the pro- 
posed new church. These men looked at many sites before making a 
decision to recommend the purchase of a tract of thirteen acres a block 
east of East End Avenue between Knox Street and Davie Avenue. After 
deciding the exact location for the new building the rest of the proper- 
ty could be sold as building lots. In December the congregation 
approved purchase of the Knox property, and the Session reported the 
acquisition to the June 1960 meeting of presbytery. 

At its next meeting the Session named a committee composed of Fred 
H. Deaton, R. D. Grier, J. Wesley Jones, Jr., Mrs. E. H. Mcjunkin, Mrs. 
Vance Kennerly, J. F. Ketchie, and Dr. Harry G. Walker to guide the orga- 
nization of the new church. Before the Fall meeting of presbytery, over 
a hundred persons had signed a petition to Concord Presbytery to orga- 


nize them as a church. The petition was approved and on Sunday, Octo- 
ber 30, 1960 a commission of the presbytery met with the petitioners 
and formally organized the Forest Park Presbyterian Church. Statesville 
First transferred one hundred and thirty-nine of their members to estab- 
lish the new congregation, and these along with other persons living in 
that part of town formed the charter membership. The officers 
approved paying Mr. Witherspoon's salary and living expenses for the 
remainder of the year. Forest Park was invited to use the First Church's 
facilities for Sunday School until they could construct their own build- 
ing. In addition, it was decided that they would participate in the Every 
Member Canvass that fall, with the funds received from members of 
that congregation being given to Forest Park. 

Eugene Witherspoon submitted his resignation as Assistant Pastor to 
the Statesville First Church on December 11, 1960. He was called and 
became the first pastor of the Forest Park Church. His close relationship 
to Mr. McGeachy and the members of the "downtown" church contin- 
ued through the five years he remained in Statesville. Work was begun 
on the second phase of the Development Program, renovation of the 
sanctuary, and the set of pulpit furniture which had been given as a 
memorial to Charles E. Raynal was loaned to Forest Park for their use 
until they built their own sanctuary. After it was returned, it was placed 
in the Heritage Room of First Presbyterian. 

The committee named to plan and supervise the restoration of the 
sanctuary was composed of C. N. Steele, Chairman, Mrs. David 
Andrews, Miss Louise Gilbert, J. W. Johnston, Sr., Paul Meech, Mrs. A. 
L. Mills, Jr., Gordon P. Scott, Jr., J. C. Shaw, Mrs. Fred Slane, and Mrs. H. 
B. Underwood. They made a year's study to get the best possible rec- 
ommendations as to how to retain the virtues of the familiar sanctuary 
while making the changes to create a more worshipful and comfortable 
center of the congregation's life to serve through the decades ahead. 
After drawing up suggestions of what they would like to see done, and 
examining the work of several firms, the committee recommended, and 
the Deacons employed, Design Associates of Statesville, a professional 
planning group which had planned renovations for other churches. 

The proposals included a redesign of the front of the sanctuary with 
the Communion Table made central to the Chancel, flanked by a 
Lectern on one side and the Pulpit on the other. An Elders' Bench would 
be installed in a semicircle behind the Table returning to the Reformed 
heritage tradition. The console of the organ was to be moved to the side 
and the choir loft centered behing the Elders' Bench, using space which 

The Development Program 265 

had been the Sunday School office and choir room. The old decorative 
organ pipes were to be replaced by an acoustical screen extending to the 
ceiling. There would be a reworking of the pews to divide them into 
two sections rather than three and having a new center aisle, with dou- 
ble doors leading to the narthex. In addition, there would be new treat- 
ment of the windows, provision of additional lighting, revisions to the 
millwork, and new carpet. 

After reviewing the recommendations of Design Associates, the 
Committee met with the Session which called a congregational meeting 
to be held on two Sundays, May 15 and 22, 1960. The chairman, C. N. 
Steele, presented the proposals to the congregation on the first Sunday 
and a vote was taken the next week which resulted in a strong endorse- 
ment to the plan. The Session had made arrangements for the congre- 
gation's Sunday worship services to be held in Shearer Hall at Mitchell 
College while the renovation was being done. Work started a few weeks 
later and continued into early October. On Sunday, October 30th the 
congregation assembled for the first time in the renovated sanctuary for 
observance of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and celebration of 
their handsome new sanctuary. John Calvin's last Communion Order 
of Worship was used, including his call to worship, his prayer of Con- 
fession, one of his pastoral prayers, his invitation to the Lord's Table, 
and his prayer of Thanksgiving following the Sacrament. The congre- 
gational hymn was "I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art" which 
was written in 1545 by Calvin. The Session had met the previous 
Wednesday evening so that Mr. McGeachy could help them to under- 
stand their assignments in serving the sacrament in the Calvin tradition. 
That evening they decided to place flowers in the church on October 
30th "in memory of the church's former Pastors and Ruling Elders." 8 
It was in the afternoon of that same day that the service was held in 
which Concord Presbytery organized the Forest Park Church. 

The third major part of the Development Program took a few years 
longer to bring to completion. The first answer to providing more space 
for the educational program was to lease the Barron house on Kelly 
Street, otherwise known as the Miller house, which stood behind the 
manse and across the alley from the Church property. In the fall of 1959 
the Pioneers (Junior Highs) were the first group to move into these tem- 
porary quarters. 

When the Session appointed the three subcommittees to oversee the 
parts of the Development Program, they named a Sunday School 
Expansion Committee composed of Charles D. Benbow, Mrs. Bob 


Brady, Mrs. Allen Brawley, Mrs. Reuben R. Cowles, John Gilbert, Mr. 
and Mrs. Cecil E. Graybill, Jr., Herbert Hawthorne, E. H. Mcjunkin, John 
Milholland, Jr., Paul Morgan, Mrs. Dan Purifoy, Mrs. T. B. Southall, Jr. 
and Montgomery Steele. When they met they chose Mr. Graybill as 
their chairman. 

The committee included persons who had taught in each of the 
departments of the Sunday School, and thus were aware of the specif- 
ic needs of each age group. They made a careful study of the existing 
facilities, consulted with experts from the denomination's Division of 
Christian Education and Division of Church Architecture. They studied 
the best available text on building for Christian Education and had the 
assistance of Miss Eloise Wells, the Area Director of Christian Educa- 
tion. Their goal was to assure that when an addition was built it would 
provide the best possible facilities for a superior educational program. 

Looking toward the future needs, steps were taken to provide extra 
land for the expansion. In 1962 the church bought the property which 
belonged to the Sample family and in May 1963 made an agreement 
with Herbert Morrison to purchase his home place, with the under- 
standing that the Morrisons would be allowed to continue to live there 
for the rest of their lives. When the church made this agreement, it was 
with the understanding that the church would be responsible for any 
repairs to the exterior, and the Morrisons would be responsible for the 
interior. With adequate property assured the Development Committee 
proceeded with plans for the Educational Building. 

By the summer of 1964 the plans had been approved and construc- 
tion was begun under a contract with P. S. West and Co. The two story 
building was to be for the use of the children's division of the Church 
School. The architecture was planned to match the existing building to 
which it was joined by a covered walkway There were rooms on the 
first floor for a nursery and an expanded kindergarten program. On the 
second floor were rooms for the first six grades of elementary school. 

Revisions were made in the part of the older building vacated by the 
children's division to provide a comfortable library, more adequate 
office space for the ministers, the D.C.E., the area D.C.E., and the 
Church secretary plus work and storage space. In 1959 the large room 
at the south end of the first floor was named the Fellowship Room and, 
with the addition of a kitchenette, became the most popular meeting 
room in the church. Mrs. Karl Sherrill gave the church a mahogany 
table, a complete silver service with punchbowl, candelabra and other 
appointments in memory of her husband who had been both a Dea- 

The Development Program 


con and an Elder in the church. This service has been used often in the 
Fellowship Room. On the second floor directly above the Chapel, the 
Heritage Room was located for preservation and display of the artifacts, 
scrapbooks and photographs which showed the history of the congre- 
gation. In later years, two large mahogany board room tables were 
placed in the Heritage Room in memory of George Addison Scott and 
Major William Locke Allison and the room became the meeting place 
for the Session and Board of Deacons. 

Other improvements in the older building included a sound-proof 
choir room, a stage in the large meeting room under the sanctuary, and 
a new heating and cooling system. When the work was completed in 
the fall of 1964, the congregation moved back into one of the finest 
church plants in the state. The congregation had every reason to be 
proud of the accomplishment of the extensive Development Program 
which had been adopted five years before. 

Footnotes to Chapter XXI 

1. Neill R. McGeachy, op. cit. p. 581 

2. Ibid 

3. Session Minutes Book VII, Minutes September 5, 1955 

4. Deacon's Minutes Book, Minutes October 22, 1887 

5. Deacon's Minutes Book, Minutes September 10, 1962 

6. Letter Virginia Evans to H. M. Raynal, March 30, 1994 

7. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, June 1959, p.l 

8. Session Minutes Book Vm, Minutes October 26, 1960 

Parts on the Development Program were collected from Minutes of the Session and Board of 
Deacons and from "Ye Fourth Creek Journal". 

Pioneer Officer Installation in 1955. 


Junior Choir in the early 1950's. 







This is a class of Beginners with Miss Frances Hall as teacher. 

The Development Program 









■"■'- ■' ■ 









The Development Program 


Young People's Outing, 1959. 


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Chapter Twenty-Two 

The Bicentennial 

After her years of service in the Congo Shirley McRee resigned 
from service with the Board of World Missions in Africa to be 
married. In August 1960 the Session acted favorably, approv- 
ing an offer from the Board to assign a new missionary as our over- 
seas representative, Miss Ester Morton Rice. She was from Lancast- 
er, Texas and had been educated at Agnes Scott College and the 
University of Michigan before enrolling in Presbyterian School of 
Christian Education, Richmond. Her first foreign assignment had 
been as a teacher in a Mission School in China where she remained 
until China was closed to mission work. In the summer of 1960 at the 
Montreat World Mission Conference, the Board of World Missions 
commissioned her as an educational missionary and assigned her to 
work in Taiwan. Ester Rice continued to be the missionary of this 
congregation for some years. She wrote to the congregation regular- 
ly, and these reports were printed in "Ye Fourth Creek Journal". She 
also visited the congregation when on furlough. Other overseas mis- 
sionaries supported by First Presbyterian after Miss Rice included 
the Sursavages in Bangledesh, the Alister Scougals in Belgium, and 
a member of First Church in Statesville Janet Dearman in Eastern 
Europe. Zeb Bradford (Brad) Long and his wife Laura Cole Long, 
both of whom were ordained by Concord Presbytery, served in Tai- 
wan. Laura Long was the first daughter of Statesville First Presby- 
terian to be ordained as a minister. 

In addition the church has been generous in support of the Medical 
Benevolence Foundation, an organization which gives extra assistance 
to the medical hospitals of our church overseas. One Presbyterian 
physician missionary was Dr. Paul Crane, the brother of Lillian 
Southall. After receiving his medical degree at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Crane 
studied at Union Seminary for a year to strengthen his theological back- 
ground before going to Korea, where he established a new hospital to 
serve the people there and to train medical professionals. The Statesville 


church added their support to that which came from the Women of the 
Church Birthday Offering and others, including the Reformed Church 
in Germany, to help him carry through his vision. Dr. Crane later 
worked for the Board of Missions in making a survey of and assisting 
with medical work being done in missions all around the world. 

Two young people from the congregation went overseas for short 
term periods of service on the mission fields. Anne Evans was one of 
eight American students who went to Brazil in 1962 to study for a year 
at the Fifteenth of November School. While she was there the group 
helped construct a building as a combined church and school house 
about five miles from the school in a small village where there had been 
none before. Circles of the Women of the Church and some Sunday 
School classes collected funds to be sent to the Fifteenth of November 
School for support of this project. In one of her letters Anne reported: 

"I have just had the most wonderful experience. (We) went uptown 
to buy things for the village church. Sixty cakes of soap, toothbrush- 
es, combs, glasses. A wonderful thing happened in the store. The man 
is devout Catholic and has criticized the Americans in everything, 
but God must have touched his heart, because he cut the prices in 
half and gave us pencils and erasers for a whole year. It was so won- 
derful. He said that when the school and church started he wanted to 
go out to it." 1 

Peggy McGeachy had studied for a year at the Presbyterian School 
of Christian Education when she was appointed by the Board of 
World Missions to serve for an intern year on the mission field in Zaire 
representing P.S.C.E. She was commissioned at the Montreat World 
Mission Conference after attending the Institute for Outgoing Mis- 
sionaries and taught missionary children in the Central School. Her 
year in Africa is interesting in the parallel to the experience of her 
father, Neill R. McGeachy, who had spent a term teaching on the mis- 
sion field in the Sudan before he studied at the seminary and was 
ordained as a minister. 

Another young man from the Statesville Church made the decision 
to enter the Presbyterian ministry during the pastorate of Mr. 
McGeachy. Robert Eugene Johnston, the son of J. W. and Mary John- 
ston, got his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and stud- 
ied theology at Columbia Seminary. He was ordained by Atlanta Pres- 
bytery in the summer of 1964. He went ahead with his studies and 
earned the Masters and Doctorate degrees. His life work has been cen- 
tered on the ministry of counselling. 

The Bicentennial 277 

In June and July 1962 Pastor and Mrs. McGeachy took a trip to Scot- 
land to visit their daughter Lila and her husband the Rev. Richard A. 
Ray. The Rays were in Scotland for two years while he was earning his 
Ph.D. at St. Mary's College of the University of St. Andrews. Of 
course, every Presbyterian minister has a yearning to visit Scotland 
from whence our Presbyterian faith was brought to America, but the 
McGeachys had an extra reason to want to go. The trip gave them an 
opportunity to become acquainted with their granddaughter, Lila 
English Ray, who was ten months old when her grandparents came 
across the ocean to visit her. 

The next Spring our Director of Christian Education, Mrs. Lillian 
Southall, was able to make an overseas trip under the sponsorship of 
the Board of World Missions and with the support of friends to visit 
the rim of Asia. She left on March 18, 1963 and spent a month visit- 
ing the Christian communities in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, 
and Hawaii. Her firsthand reports on meetings with the missionaries 
and contacts with the people who had come to Christ under the influ- 
ence of the church's mission program helped promote understanding 
and encourage support from this church for that work. 

After Eugene Witherspoon resigned as the assistant pastor in order 
to become the first minister of the Forest Park Church, the officers 
began to discuss replacing him on the church staff. There was some 
sentiment for securing a Minister of Music rather than another Assis- 
tant Minister. The church had been fortunate in having Miss Gladys 
Stephens as its organist for the many years since Hobart Whitman 
moved away. Some fine musicians had directed the choirs, including 
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Riker, Rosa Watts, Harold Wilson, Pleas Nor- 
man, Mrs. Coite Dotson, Martha Kennedy, Carolyn Nicholson, Patri- 
cia White and Dorothy Nicholson. Some of these worked with the 
Senior Choir, others with the Junior or Children's Choir. When the 
matter came to a vote in the Session, it was decided that there were not 
funds available to add two full-time persons to the staff so they would 
first seek an assistant minister and look forward to the time when a 
Minister of Music could be added. 

After a careful search, the Session agreed on recommending to the 
congregation that a call be extended to William Lowry McBath who 
had been pastor of the Gilwood Church near Concord to become the 
associate pastor. At that time there was a distinction in the polity of the 
church between "Assistant Pastor" and "Associate Pastor". An assis- 
tant was called by the Session and the term of service was established 


by the Session. An associate was called by the congregation, was 
installed by the Presbytery and subject to it in fulfillment of his 
responsibilities, just as the Senior Minister was. Lowry McBath was a 
graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary and had been ordained 
to the ministry by Concord Presbytery in 1958. Mr. and Mrs. McBath 
and their daughter Betsy came to Statesville in the first week of 
December 1963. They moved into the Sample house now owned by 
the church, which came to be referred to as the "Kelly Street Manse.'' 

At the same congregational meeting when the call was extended to 
Mr. McBath, approval was given to adopting a Rotary System for lim- 
ited terms of service for Elders. The Board of Deacons had followed 
the Rotary System since 1939, but once ordained and installed, an 
Elder served for life. The proposal, as recommended by the Session, 
called for those serving on the Session elected prior to 1963 to be 
named as Life Elders to continue as members of the Session in active 
service. Additional Elders elected thereafter would be chosen for lim- 
ited terms of twelve years, but they would be subject to reelection by 
the congregation. 

In 1958, at the most recent election of Elders, the congregation had 
chosen Reuben R. Cowles, John N. Gilbert, Nathan O. McElwee, Dan 
H. Purifoy, and J. M. Sample. Now in the election to select those to 
become Elders in the first class for limited terms of service, selected 
were: I. T. Avery, Jr., Dr. John H. Dearman, James P. Gray, Jr., J. Allen 
Knox, John L. Milholland, Jr., Gordon P. Scott, Jr., F. Montgomery 
Steele, and Dr. Harry B. Underwood. Elders chosen hereafter are list- 
ed in the Appendix with the year they started service. 

During Mr. McGeachy's pastorate the church was able to attract a 
number of the outstanding scholars and leaders in the denomination 
to come to Statesville to lead Services of Spiritual Enrichment. It was 
the custom to precede the days of preaching and teaching with "Cot- 
tage Prayer Meetings" held in members' homes for several weeks 
before the guest preacher came. When the appointed week arrived the 
visiting minister would preach at both services on Sunday and then 
on the evenings of the week that followed. The coming of these lead- 
ers attracted Presbyterians from all around the area and many from 
other churches in the community. Among those who came to share 
their understanding of the Christian faith with the congregation were: 
Balmer Kelly (1957), Ernest T. Thompson (1958), and John Bright 
(1969) from the faculty of Union Seminary; Donald G. Miller, Presi- 
dent of Pittsburg Theological Seminary (1959 and 1968), J. McDowell 

The Bicentennial 279 

Richards, President of Columbia Seminary (1965); John F. Anderson 
Jr., Executive Secretary of the Board of Church Extension (1966); 
George H. Vick, Executive Secretary of the Board of Annuities and 
Relief (1963 & 1967); and John A. Redhead, Pastor of the First Presby- 
terian Church, Greensboro, N.C. (1968). 

As noted above in reporting the establishment and use of Camp 
Grier, another activity instituted during the pastorate of Mr. 
McGeachy.was the holding of churchwide retreats for the entire con- 
gregation on a weekend in the Spring. The first Retreat had been held 
at Camp Fellowship on the Catawba River. The 1957 Retreat and those 
which followed through 1968 were held at Camp Grier, the presbytery 
conference center near Old Fort. 

The year 1964 was to be the 200th anniversary of the organization of 
the congregation. The Session appointed a special committee repre- 
senting the organizations of the church to plan the Bicentennial obser- 
vation. The committee was composed of Elder D. H. Andrews, Deacon 
Andrew N. Cowles, L. S. Gilliam, Mrs. E. M. Land, W. E. Webb, IE and 
T. Duke Williams, Jr., with the two ministers, Mr. McGeachy and Mr. 
McBath, as advisors. They chose Mrs. Land as their chairman and met 
for over a year completing plans for the observance. It was decided to 
set October 11, 1964 as a day of memorial and celebration. 

On the Bicentennial Sunday an overflowing crowd gathered. Invi- 
tations had been sent to Dr. C. M. Richards, the only living former pas- 
tor, and R. Murphy Williams, pastor of the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pres- 
byterian Church, who had been assistant to Dr. Raynal in the 1940s, to 
former Directors of Christian Education and Church Secretaries, to 
sons of the church who had been ordained to the ministry, and to for- 
mer members now living elsewhere. Photographs taken on that occa- 
sion were printed in a special Bi-centennial Commemorative Issue of 
"Ye Fourth Creek Journal". 

There were three services that day which were led by the congre- 
gation's ministers. Preacher at the morning service was Dr. William H. 
McCorkle, the immediate past Moderator of the General Assembly 
of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. and Pastor of the First Presbyterian 
Church, Bristol, Tennessee. Other clergymen taking part in leading the 
morning service were: C. M. Richards, J. McDowell Richards, Charles 
E. Raynal, Jr., and Legh R. Scott. In addition to these, other sons of the 
church in the ministry present that day were: J. Harper Brady, Robert 
E. Johnston, Mack R. Long, W H. Matheson, John R. Smith, and H. M. 


At the close of the morning service the whole congregation was 
invited to gather in the dining hall for lunch which had been prepared 
by the Women of the Church and spread buffet style across two long 
tables running the length of the room. More than a thousand persons 
were served and a great time of reunion and fellowship was held. 

In the afternoon the congregation reassembled in the sanctuary for 
a program noting the story of the church. Mr. McGeachy gave a short 
address sketching the history of the first two hundred years of the 
congregation. The men and women who had gone from the church 
into full-time church vocation were invited to speak briefly on what 
the Statesville First Presbyterian Church had meant in their spiritu- 
al development. There were also greetings from representatives of 
the churches which had been organized out of Fourth Creek/First 

In the evening a Service of Music was held led by the church choir 
under the direction of Harold Wilson. The choir for the day was aug- 
mented by four former members who had come for the celebration: 
Mrs. Mary Mayo Riker Ham of New York City, Mrs. Martha Dotson 
Kennerly of Lenoir, Col. Morris Gray of Falls Church, Virginia, and 
Reid Morrison of Daytona Beach, Florida. In addition to the choral 
numbers and solos, there was special music which had been selected 
by Miss Gladys Stephens, the church organist, as her contribution to 
the Bi-centennial celebration. 

The planning group through an Historical subcommittee chaired 
by A. N. Cowles had prepared a brochure and had it published by 
Brady Printing Company as a part of the Bi-centennial observation, 
A History of Old Fourth Creek Congregation 1764-1964. It gave an 
account of the first two hundred years of the congregation's life. 
The publication included lists of all Ministers, Elders, and Deacons 
who had served the church since its founding, photographs of each 
minister since Dr. Rockwell (1840-1850), and drawings or pho- 
tographs of each of the buildings of the church. In addition there 
were articles on the Women's Work, the Youth, the Ministry of 
Music, and the Fourth Creek Burying Ground. A copy of the old 
1773 Sharpe Map of the congregation was bound in the brochure. 
On Bi-centennial Sunday the brochures were distributed, a copy to 
each family in the congregation. 


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The Bicentennial 283 

These accounts of First Presbyterian Church proved to be so valu- 
able that in 1989 the Historical Committee ordered a second edition of 
A History of Fourth Creek Congregation with an additional section cov- 
ering the twenty-five years 1964-1989 as a part of the 225th anniver- 
sary of the church. Other publications by the Church which help to 
illustrate the development of this congregation include: Louis Brown's 
1951 History of the Young Men's Bible Class, Virginia Evans' 1953 
pageant written for the 200th anniversary of the people's first gath- 
ering, The Story of the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville 1753-1953, 
and the Iredell County Committee of the Colonial Dames' booklet, 
Fourth Creek Memorial Burying Ground 1756 issued in January 1967. 
Each of these as well as earlier publications may be examined in the 
Heritage Room and along with them an extensive collection of the 
Sunday Worship Bulletins, "Ye Fourth Creek Journals", Every Mem- 
ber Canvass budget presentations, and Church Directories. A large 
number of photographs, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks are 
also kept here with the entire collection making a valuable presenta- 
tion of the past of Fourth Creek/First Presbyterian Church, Statesville. 

By February 1965 Neill McGeachy had completed twenty years as 
Pastor of First Presbyterian Church. The congregation greatly appre- 
ciated the blessing the McGeachy family had been to them and plans 
were made to express their gratitude. On Sunday, February 14th, the 
McGeachy s were honored. Montgomery Steele, on behalf of the offi- 
cers and members, presented Mr. McGeachy with an engraved gold 
watch noting his twenty years service. At the same time a radio-stereo 
was given to the family. The Session had adopted a resolution of 
appreciation which was read by Dr. J. H. Nicholson and a copy, signed 
by twenty-eight members of the Session representing the congrega- 
tion, was presented to Mr. McGeachy. The resolution included this 

"As teacher, you have given us light; as pastor, you have given us love and 
sympathy in our sorrows; as friend, you have given us cheer and lifted our 
spirits; and as shepherd, you have brought us into the fold. In these we 
have not found you wanting. For such we called you . . . and of such we 
have received to this day." 3 

The new Education Building was completed and was used for the 
first time on July 25, 1965. That fall the church opened a week-day 
kindergarten in the new building. Mrs. Allen Brawley was the first 
teacher in the day school. She had years of experience as a teacher 
in the Primary department of the Sunday School and spent the sum- 


mer before our day school opened taking special training in a Lead- 
ership School for weekday kindergarten teachers. For this first year, 
enrollment was limited to twenty children, age five. The school 
proved to be so well received that other teachers were secured and 
now the kindergarten meets five mornings a week with four class- 
es, two for four year olds and two for five year olds. After the Miller 
house was removed, a playground was installed on the property, 
with the men helping build playground equipment for the use of 
the children. 

Lowry McBath resigned as Associate Pastor in September 1965 in 
order to accept a call to the historic Alamance Presbyterian Church 
in Greensboro, N.C. The congregation agreed to his request and joined 
him in requesting Concord Presbytery to dissolve the relationship. At 
its October meeting the presbytery did dismiss Mr. McBath, but the 
congregation regretted seeing him go. Both the Session and the Board 
of Deacons passed resolutions commending him for the service he had 
rendered in Statesville and wishing him well in his new work. 

In the following months a serious search was undertaken to find a 
replacement for Mr. McBath, but it was a year and a half before the 
position was filled. The Session Minutes for April 1967 report a call 
being extended to the Rev. Edwin H. Rayfield who had been serving 
a two-church field in Pee Dee Presbytery, South Carolina. He was a 
native of Norfolk, Virginia and had been educated at Presbyterian 
College, Clinton, S. C. and at Union Seminary, Richmond. Mr. Rayfield 
had been ordained to the ministry by Norfolk Presbytery in Febru- 
ary 1959. The new assistant minister, his wife, Elsie C. Rayfield, and 
their two children, Robert Edwin and Elizabeth Ann, lived in the Kelly 
Street Manse. He was installed on Sunday, July 23, 1967. 

After twelve years as the Executive Secretary of Concord Pres- 
bytery, Thompson B. Southall, Jr. resigned to take a call to become pas- 
tor of some churches in Lexington Presbytery in Virginia. The pres- 
bytery accepted his resignation effective August 31, 1966. Mrs. Lillian 
Southall's faithful service as the congregation's Director of Christian 
Education was coming to a close but the congregation was very sorry 
to see her leave. The Minutes of both the Session and the Board of 
Deacons record resolutions of commendation of both Mr. and Mrs. 
Southall along with statements of regret at their leaving. 

The church was very fortunate in having Ed Rayfield here. After 
Mrs. Southall left, the church staff consisted of Pastor Neill McGeachy, 
Ed Rayfield, and Mrs. Billie Deaton Price, with Mitchell Turner as sex- 

The Bicentennial 285 

ton, assisted by Bertha Bryant. Mr. McGeachy developed eye trouble 
in 1968 which caused him to limit some of the responsibilities he felt as 
pastor. Mr. Rayfield, in addition to his duties as Minister of Education, 
was called upon to fill in for the senior pastor and did so in a fine man- 
ner. In the summer of 1969 the congregation elected him as their asso- 
ciate pastor. The presbytery approved and named a Commission to 
install him and on a Sunday morning in August, Mr. Rayfield was 
installed as Associate Pastor. Mr. McGeachy led the service and 
presided, Dr. Daniel B. Rhodes, Professor of Bible at Davidson College, 
preached that morning, the Rev. A. A. Alexander from Barium Springs 
charged the minister and R. D. Grier, now an Elder of the Forest Park 
Church, charged the congregation. Other members of the commission 
were Elders J. H. Nicholson, Fred W. Dick, and James P. Gray, Jr. 

Since the mid-1950s there had been discussion on the realignment 
of the presbyteries in the Synod of North Carolina. The Synod had the 
matter before it time after time and over the years had named com- 
mittees to study proposed changes and seek for a plan which would 
have the support of the churches. Various plans were considered but 
each proposal seemed to meet with opposition from some of the areas 
involved. In 1970 the Synod adopted the proposal of its Realignment 
Committee which called for seven presbyteries with Concord being 
divided between Kings Mountain, WinstonSalem, and Mecklenburg. 
The realignment was to occur before December 31, 1971. The Session 
of the Statesville First Church was among those raising strong objec- 
tion to the division of Concord Presbytery. Their minutes of Septem- 
ber 14, 1970 include an emphatic resolution urging the Synod to 
rescind its earlier action. 

In October Concord Presbytery approved a request to Synod asking 
that the three presbyteries, Concord, Kings Mountain, and Winston- 
Salem be united to form one new presbytery. The Boundaries Com- 
mittees from the three presbyteries met together and also with 
Synod's Commission promoting the proposal to unite the three. Pas- 
tor Neill McGeachy and Elder E. H. Mcjunkin from Statesville had 
been added to Concord's committee and took leadership in the estab- 
lishment of the new presbytery once the Synod approved the recom- 
mendation of its Commission on Restructure and formed the expand- 
ed new presbytery covering the western part of the Synod. 

The newly formed body, which was known as "Presbytery One" in 
the plan finally approved by the Synod, held its first Stated Meeting 
on January 11, 1972 and selected Covenant Presbytery as its new 


name. The name was chosen to illustrate the union into which the 
three earlier bodies had entered. It bore this name through its first 
months when they learned that they "would have to 'adopt a name 
other than Covenant' since a presbytery in Texas had earlier chosen 
that name." 2 A motion was approved in a meeting at Davidson that 
they adopt the old and historic name of Concord. Thus the body 
known for a while as Presbytery One and briefly as Covenant Pres- 
bytery became the Presbytery of Concord. Neill McGeachy was 
delighted at the restoration of the traditional name. 

In the organization of the body the following persons from States- 
ville were selected to serve on the Committees of Presbytery: the Steer- 
ing Council — Rev. Neill R. McGeachy, Stewardship — Mrs. Herbert 
Hawthorne, Examinations — Mrs. Edwin H. Rayfield, and Assets — 
Nathan McElwee. The presbytery named the Rev. L. B. Colquitt Jr., 
who had followed Mr. Southall as Executive Secretary, to be its 
Administrative Secretary and the Rev. G. P. Whiteley, who had been 
the executive of Winston-Salem Presbytery, to be its Field Secretary. 
The office of presbytery was continued in the North Carolina Nation- 
al Bank Building in Statesville. 

On September 21, 1969 Mr. McGeachy had informed the Session 
of his intention to take early retirement, resigning from the pastorate 
of the Statesville First Church due to his continued eye trouble. A con- 
gregational meeting called to consider his request agreed regretfully 
to join him in asking the Presbytery to have the pastoral relationship 
dissolved, effective December 31, 1969. 

The people had been greatly blessed during the twenty-five years 
Neill McGeachy had been their pastor. His impact upon the congre- 
gation would be long-lasting and his vision which had led to the pro- 
gressive steps taken in the Development Program and the growth in 
membership under his ministry, had served to strengthen the Presby- 
terian witness in Statesville. 

The last Sunday before his retirement became effective, December 
28, 1969, was appointed by the Session to be an occasion for a recog- 
nition of the pastorate of Mr. McGeachy. As a surprise tribute to him, 
the debt on the educational building was paid, and the note was 
burned during the service in the sancturary. The building was named 
that day the Neill R. McGeachy Educational Building and a handsome 
bronze plaque with the new designation and dedication was unveiled. 

There was very general agreement on the appropriateness of desig- 
nating the addition as the Neill R. McGeachy Educational Building for 

The Bicentennial 


a very major emphasis during 
the twenty-five years of his 
pastorate had been the 
strengthening and expansion 
of the educational program of 
First Presbyterian Church. 
Under his guidance the 
church school adopted the 
denomination's new Cove- 
nant Life Curriculum, and 
three of the departments in 
the Sunday School were rec- 
ognized for superior pro- 
grams of teaching by being 
named as Authorized Train- 
ing Centers where teachers 
from other congregations 
could come, observe the 
teaching being done here, and learn improved methods to carry home 
to strengthen the schools in their own churches. 

The Session had adopted a Resolution of Appreciation for the min- 
istry of Mr. McGeachy to the Statesville Church recognizing its grat- 
itude to God for the twenty-five years he had served as their Pastor. 
On the day the Educational Building was dedicated, an inscribed 
copy of this resolution, which had been included in their Minutes, 
was presented to the McGeachys signed by thirty-three of the 
church's Elders. 

The McGeachys continued to live in Statesville, securing a home on 
Springdale Road, West. Though officially Honorably Retired, Neill 
McGeachy continued to be active in promotion of his church and com- 
munity. We have noted the important part he played in the realign- 
ment of presbytery boundaries leading to the establishment of the pre- 
sent Concord Presbytery. As an example, he reported that his "1971 
John Knox Calendar is filled from late winter to early fall with meet- 
ings . . . regarding the hope of setting up one presbytery; with meet- 
ings of Concord's Commission and of the three Commissions and 
with the chairmen of the three commissions of Kings Mountain and 
Winston-Salem ... " 4 Finally, there is the notation regarding the meet- 
ing of the Administrative Commission to Realign Boundaries of Pres- 
bytery I in Synod's Office in Raleigh on October 5, 1971. 


As it was approaching the 175th Anniversary of its founding which 
was observed in 1970, Concord Presbytery passed a motion calling for 
the writing and publication of its history. The committee they named 
asked Mr. McGeachy to undertake the writing. The members were 
aware of his love of history and of the splendid way in which he pre- 
pared the history of Sugar Creek Church. He agreed and was com- 
missioned by Presbytery, whereupon he undertook a study of the 
background and full story of Presbyterianism in central North Caroli- 
na, making numerous trips to the Presbyterian Historical Founda- 
tion in Montreat, the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Philadel- 
phia, and the library of Union Theological Seminary. 

A major part of the research and the writing on the history of Con- 
cord Presbytery had been completed before the realignment of pres- 
bytery boundaries and organization of the new presbytery. At one of 
its early meetings the new governing body affirmed its support of the 
project and asked Mr. McGeachy to proceed with his history bringing 
it up through the union of the three presbyteries. The author reworked 
his manuscript and included the churches in Kings Mountain and 
Winston-Salem. He also wrote a chapter in which he reported the 
process that had brought about the new enlarged Presbytery of Con- 
cord and carried the story through 1973. 

Before Confronted By Challenge, A History of the Presbytery of Con- 
cord 1795-1973 was published, an addendum covering the years 1974- 
1984 was written by Bill East and was bound in the book when it had 
its first printing in 1985. At the 443rd stated meeting of the Presbytery 
of Concord at Highland Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, a ser- 
vice of worship was held, recognizing the book's publication. Naming 
the Educational Building in Neill McGeachy's honor was certainly 
appropriate, but his monumental undertaking to chronicle the Pres- 
bytery's history will surely stand as the lasting memorial to this schol- 
arly and good minister of Christ. 

In The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William S. Powell 
noted Neill McGeachy's contributions to historical research and some 
of the important duties he performed in service to the church. In 
addition to serving as moderator of the presbytery for two terms, he 
was four times a commissioner to the General Assembly, in 1947, 
1955, 1961 and 1970. He was a member of the board of regents of the 
Presbyterian Home for Children, a trustee of Mitchell College, a 
trustee of Davidson College and often a member of committees on 
Christian Education, Ministers, and their work and historical cele- 

The Bicentennial 289 

brations. Neill R. McGeachy was both a churchman and a pastor of 
the first order. 

In 1964 the General Assembly, after receiving the approval of over 
twothirds of the presbyteries, amended the Book of Church Order to 
provide that both women and men would be eligible to serve as offi- 
cers of the church. The first women elected by the Statesville First con- 
gregation were chosen to serve in the classes which were ordained in 
1972: as Elders Mrs. H. C. Qane) Hawthorne and Mrs. T. B. (Lillian) 
Southall, and as Deacons Mrs. Nathan (Frances) McElwee and Mrs. E. 
H. (Pat) Mcjunkin. Other women were added in the next group cho- 
sen, Elders — Mrs. C. D. (Mittie) Linney and Mrs. Dan H. (Mary) Puri- 
foy; Deacons — Mrs. J. H. (Barbara) Dearman and Mrs. F. M. (Elaine) 
Steele. 5 In the class installed in 1974 Mrs. Neill R. (Frances) McGeachy 
was added to the Session. Her years as an exemplary pastor's wife 
and worker in all phases of the church's activity were thus recognized, 
and she remains to the present as a loyal member of First Presbyter- 
ian. Additional women elected to office are included on the lists in the 

Neill Roderick McGeachy entered heaven in the early morning 
hours of Monday, December 17, 1979. The seventy years of his life 
were remembered at a memorial service in the First Presbyterian 
Church conducted by J. Layton Mauze, III, pastor of the church and 
Clements E. Lamberth, Jr., general presbyter of the Presbytery of Con- 
cord. His earthly remains were laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery, but 
as was pointed out in an article printed in the newspaper "his spirit 
no doubt rests in the old Fourth Creek Burying Ground." 6 The same 
might well have been said about his predecessor, Charles E. Raynal. 

Footnotes to Chapter XXII 

1. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, Winter 1963, p. 3 

2. Neill R. McGeachy, op cit p. 638 

3. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, Spring 1965, p. 3 

4. Neill R. McGeachy. op cit p. 626 

5. A History of Old Fourth Creek Congregation, 1989 Reprint, pp. 37-39 

6. Statesville Daily Record, December 17, 1979 p. 1 



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John Benbow, Andy Hall, Ike Avery, Audrey Barringer and Joe Holbrook waiting on sanc- 
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A covered dish dinner in the Fourth Creek meeting hall in the early 1960's. 

The Bicentennial 


Easter Sunday worship 1961 showing the renovation of the sanctuary which had been 
recently completed following a year of study and months of actual work. 

The Bicentennial 


Junior Choir in the 1960's. 

Rev. J. Layton Mauze III 

Chapter Twenty-Three 

Pastor J. Layton Mauze 

For a year and a half, in the interim between the retirement of 
Neill R. McGeachy on December 31, 1969 and the arrival of the 
congregation's new Senior Minister J. Layton Mauze III in July 
1971, the Statesville Church was ably led by Edwin H. Rayfield, the 
associate pastor. He had come to Statesville as Mr. McGeachy's assis- 
tant in July 1967, and he and Mrs. Rayfield had won places of warm 
acceptance in the congregation. As has been noted above, he was 
elected and installed as Associate Pastor in August 1969. He had been 
called upon to undertake more and more responsibility in the final 
months of Mr. McGeachy's pastorate and was ready to step in and 
carry the load while the church sought a new pastor. 

Beginning with the first meeting of the Session in 1970, Edwin H. 
Rayfield is listed as its moderator. He undertook directing the work 
while the Pulpit Nominating Committee was seeking and finding a 
person to recommend as pastor of the congregation. Work which 
had been started under the guidance of Mr. McGeachy was carried 
on. During March, in cooperation with the Concord (Iredell) 
Church, a series of special services was held with the Rev. David 
Burr, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem, 
preaching three evenings at the Statesville church and two at Con- 
cord (Iredell). The following October, Dr. Daniel Rhodes of the fac- 
ulty of Davidson College, was here to lead the fall Bible Study. His 
three days here are well remembered by many who are still in the 
congregation. During this interim the Session also arranged with 
James E. Fogartie, D.D. to conduct Services for Spiritual Enrichment 
in the Spring of 1971. 

Another event which occurred during Mr. Rayfield's period of 
leadership was the establishment of the Heritage Room for preser- 
vation and display of the artifacts, photographs, clippings, and pub- 
lications which told the story of the congregation. Beginning with 
an idea promoted by the Women of the Church, encouraged by Neill 


McGeachy, and strongly supported by Mary Andrews, Caroline 
Avery, Virginia Evans, Mrs. C. D. Linney, John Scott Raynal and oth- 
ers, a museum was started. By July 1971 the collection had been 
moved to the second story room above the Chapel where it is now 
displayed. At this time photographs of as many of the former pastors 
as could be found were framed and mounted on the wall of the Her- 
itage Room. Also placed in this room was the display case purchased 
by the Women of the Church as a memorial to Margaret S. Raynal to 
contain the Raynal Scrapbooks. 

After forty-five years of use, the church's pipe organ needed major 
repairs. Investigation was made and it was decided that the old con- 
sole should be replaced. A contract was made with the Austin Organ 
Company to build and install a new one for $8,700. It took a year to 
complete the work, but in July 1970 the new console was installed, 
and the refurbished organ was returned to service. 

Since the organization in the spring of 1969 of Statesville's "Chris- 
tian Community Action Committee", made up of representatives 
from a number of local churches, Statesville First Presbyterian had 
been a participating member. The purpose was to unite the church's 
efforts to meet the needs of the underprivileged in the area. One of 
the first joint efforts was the support of "Ruthie's Day Care Center", 
the first licensed day care center for children of color. An emergency 
home for abused women and children was established under the 
name Jubilee House Community. Other activities came to include 
sponsorship of food, clothing and furniture closets, and a homeless 
shelter in the winter months. In February 1971 this work adopted the 
name "Yokefellow Ministries". As these activities have expanded 
over the last two decades, the Presbyterian Church has continued as 
one of its strong supporters. 

On April 11, 1971 the congregation met to consider a report from 
the Pastoral Nominating Committee. They recommended the Rev- 
erend Joseph Layton Mauze III from Staunton, Virginia to become the 
new Senior Pastor, and, after hearing the report, the congregation 
unanimously voted to extend a call to him. As the word came that Mr. 
Mauze would accept the call, the Deacons and the Women of the 
Church made a special effort to prepare the manse for their new pas- 
tor. In their Minutes the Deacons list the work to be done: "ceiling 
in the basement, air-conditioning, and new appliances: dishwasher, 
kitchen stove, refrigerator, and washer /dryer." 1 Plans were made for 
a reception to welcome the new pastor and his family 

Pastor ]. Lay ton Mauze 303 

Joseph Layton Mauze III was the son and grandson of Presbyter- 
ian ministers, having been born in Huntington, West Virginia while 
his father was at the First Presbyterian Church of Huntington. He 
grew up in Missouri where his father served churches in Kansas City 
and St. Louis. After graduating from Westminster College he earned 
his divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He 
was ordained by Winchester Presbytery in 1962 when he became pas- 
tor of the Front Royal, Virginia Church. After this first pastorate, he 
served the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Virginia from 
which he was called to Statesville. 

Layton Mauze, his wife Harriet Hayes Mauze, and their three chil- 
dren, Michelle, Layton IV and Mary Katherine, moved into the manse 
in June. On Sunday, June 27, 1971, a Commission of Concord Pres- 
bytery installed Mr. Mauze as the twelfth pastor of the Statesville 
First Presbyterian Church. Edwin Rayfield presided, Dr. Fred R. Stair, 
Jr., president of Union Theological Seminary preached, Presbytery's 
Executive Secretary propounded the constitutional questions, and Dr. 
Samuel Spencer, President of Davidson College, charged the new 
pastor. Others on the Commission were the Rev. Scott Woodmansee, 
Chaplain of Davidson College and Ruling Elders Nathan O. McEl- 
wee, Dan H. Purifoy and R. D. Grier. Invited to sit with them and par- 
ticipate in the service was the new pastor's father, the Rev. J. Layton 
Mauze, Jr. who led the prayer of Installation. After morning worship 
the Service Circle of the Women of the Church held a reception in the 
Fellowship room honoring their new pastor and the members of the 
Installation Commission. 

For the first issue of Ye Fourth Creek Journal printed after Mauze's 
arrival he wrote a letter to the congregation which outlined his 
"Expectations and Dreams in regards to this corporate ministry that 
will be ours." 2 In it he presented what proved to be the outline of 
his pastorate enlisting the members of the congregation in joint 
efforts of ministry to the church, the community and the world. Dur- 
ing his years in Statesville he encouraged the works of outreach to the 
community which had been started by his predecessors and led the 
congregation into new ones. Members of the Presbyterian Church 
took up his challenge and were active in the leadership and support 
of programs which reached out to meet the special needs of differ- 
ent groups in Statesville. 

The first meeting of the officers at which Mr. Mauze is reported as 
present was held on July 12, 1971, a joint meeting of the elders and 


the deacons. Before the election of officers that fall the Session had 
made a study of an extensive paper, "A Proposal for Church Lead- 
ership through Renewal" and endorsed its recommendations for 
guidance to the congregation in selecting those to be elected and a 
covenant of commitment which each officer was encouraged to 
adopt. The covenant called for each officer to engage in systematic 
study of the Bible, practice Christian stewardship, strengthen his own 
prayer life, accept responsibility for others in the life of the congre- 
gation, be faithful in fulfillment of the duties of the office to which he 
or she had been ordained, and be involved in reaching out to serve 
those with special needs in and out of the church. 

Also adopted was a paper spelling out ways that the whole con- 
gregation would be involved in the mission and ministry of First 
Presbyterian Church. It called for a continuing study of, and com- 
mitment by, both officers and people to carry out the mission of the 
church in this place. A new committee organization was established 
with members of each committee coming from the Session, the Dia- 
conate, and the congregation. Responsibility for the various parts of 
the church's program and activity were thus under the oversight of 
specific groups which reported bi-monthly to joint meetings of the 
Session and Board of Deacons. Thus each officer had particular 
responsibility for some area of the church's work while being 
informed on all parts of the total program. A further step taken in the 
early months of Mr. Mauze's pastorate was the organization of "care 
groups" in the congregation. Every member was assigned to one of 
these groups generally formed with others who lived in the same 
neighborhood. An elder and a deacon were appointed to lead each 
cluster which met at different homes for fellowship, prayer, and dis- 
cussion of concerns about the church. Each officer took responsibili- 
ty for staying in touch with the ones in his or her group and were able 
to keep the pastors and their fellow officers informed of the people's 
thinking and of any special needs as they arose. 

In November 1970 Rev. Thompson B. Southall was granted honor- 
able retirement by Lexington Presbytery after having been pastor of 
a group of churches in the Valley of Virginia ever since resigning as 
Concord Presbytery's executive. The Southalls moved back to 
Statesville and for a period the congregation had the support of a 
whole group of ministerial families: In addition to the Mauze's and 
the Rayfields, through these years First Presbyterian was strength- 
ened by the presence of the Southalls, the McGeachys, and the fami- 

Pastor J. Layton Mauze 305 

ly of the Rev. L. B. Colquitt, Jr., Presbytery's Administrative Secretary, 
when his office was opened in Statesville. After Mr. Colquitt resigned 
in 1973, the family of his replacement as Presbytery's General Pres- 
byter, Rev. Clements E. Lamberth, Jr., made this their church home. 
These ministers were always ready to assist the church in any way 
they could whenever called upon by Mr. Mauze. 

Mrs. Lillian Southall, having been the Director of Christian Edu- 
cation for eleven years before the Southalls moved to Virginia, 
undertook extra duties at the church after they returned to 
Statesville as the Session was seeking a new D.C.E. The Session pre- 
pared a "Prospectus concerning Educational Ministry and Job 
Description for a Director of Christian Education" 3 which was used 
in recruiting a new Director and for guidance in development of the 
work. For the summer of 1972 Miss Jeanne Weiglein, a student from 
the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, was secured to do 
her summer field work here before returning to Richmond for her 
second year of graduate study. 

There were other changes in the church staff. In September 1971 
Mrs. Edna Edwards was employed as the pastors' secretary. Mrs. Bil- 
lie Deaton Price who had been the Church Secretary and Assistant 
Treasurer for fifteen years resigned in September 1972. Her faithful 
service here had seen the church with two pastors and lasted through 
the terms of three different Associate Pastors: Gene Witherspoon, 
Lowry McBath, and Ed Rayfield. Each of these five could pay tribute 
to her faithful loyalty to the congregation. Mrs. Billie Price was hon- 
ored on Sunday morning, October 22nd, and she was presented with 
a resolution of appreciation and a gift, followed by a luncheon. The 
Deacon's Minutes for October 8, 1972 report that Mrs. Mary 
M. Younger would be employed to replace Mrs. Price. 

In the Spring Mr. Rayfield informed the Session of his intention to 
seek other work and submitted his resignation. At this time he sup- 
plied the pulpit of the Sherrill's Ford Presbyterian Church. A Con- 
gregational Meeting was held on August 20, 1972, and the church 
joined with him in a request to the enlarged and renamed Presbytery 
of Concord to dissolve the relationship of associate pastor between 
Mr. Rayfield and Statesville First Presbyterian in order that he could 
accept the call of the Whitfield Estates Presbyterian Church, Sarasota, 
Florida. The Session and Board of Deacons passed a warm resolution 
expressing the officers' gratitude to God for his devoted ministry 
here. The resolution was included in their minutes, and a copy of it 


was printed in Ye Fourth Creek Journal that all in the congregation 
might know of the esteem in which he was held. On his last Sunday 
here, September 10, 1972, a reception was held after the morning ser- 
vice in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Rayfield and their children. A silver 
bowl was presented to the Rayfields as an expression of appreciation 
for their service here. 

The Session's search for a new Director of Christian Education was 
rewarded with the acceptance of their call to Anne Pendleton Tully 
("Penny"). She was a native of Summersville, West Virginia and a 
graduate of Marshall University and the Presbyterian School of 
Christian Education. She had been D.C.E. in Starkville, Mississippi 
where her work with the young people of St. Andrews Presbytery 
had been particularly noteworthy. The Session considered her for 
employment here when they heard she might be available, and 
extended a call to her at their August meeting as Jeanne Weiglein was 
drawing near to the close of her summer term here. Miss Tully agreed 
to begin her work here on October 1, 1972. She was installed as Direc- 
tor of Christian Education on Sunday morning, October 29th. After 
the service a covered dish luncheon was held in the basement in her 
honor, including members of her family who had come down from 
West Virginia for the occasion. She enthusiastically entered into the 
work and was soon accepted as a friend and strong addition to the 
church staff. 

During the previous summer the educational program had been 
expanded to include a special day camp for the children of the 
church. On Wednesdays, June through August, children from age 
three through Junior High met at the church for group activities. The 
Senior Highs chose to have their mid-week gatherings on Thursday 
evenings. Another Senior activity was doing volunteer work at 
Ruthie's Day Care Center. 

On Sundays that summer the church held early "Family Services" 
in the Chapel which were planned to appeal to both children and par- 
ents following the theme "the Journey of Life". These services, led by 
the pastors or members of the church, were found to meet a need, 
and an early service became a regular part of the church's summer 
program in following years. 

When the Church School resumed its regular schedule in Septem- 
ber the opportunities available for adult students were expanded. In 
addition to the three established adult classes, three elective classes 
were offered. The Men's Bible Class was taught by the Rev. Tom 

Pastor f. Layton Mauze 307 

Southall, the Women's Class by John Scott Raynal, and the Margaret 
Raynal Class by five different members of the class who rotated as 
teachers. The new elective classes were open to any members of one 
of these classes or to Senior Highs who might be interested in a par- 
ticular topic of study. The first of these was led by Mrs. John N. 
Gilbert and Mrs. Frank Quis, a Bible study using Dr. Suzanne De Det- 
rich's book on the letters of John. The second, "Christian Ethics For 
Modern Man", was taught by Mr. and Mrs. Evan Cole, and the third 
on "Personal Growth And Faith" by Mrs. Ross Cowan and Mrs. 
Albert Walser. In the elective classes, a study generally lasted for a 
quarter, with the participants selecting another book or study next 
that followed their own interests. 

There had been changes in the congregation over the years with 
the addition of new families as they moved to Statesville, the loss 
of long-time members who had transferred to Forest Park Church 
after it was established, and of others who had moved from 
Statesville. Over a hundred persons had become members of First 
Presbyterian Church in the preceding five years. In order to assist 
the members to know one another and their church, it was decided 
in 1973 to publish a Church Directory containing photographs of the 
staff and members along with their names and addresses. This was 
the first Pictoral Directory issued by the Church and proved to be so 
valuable that new ones have been published about every five years. 
In addition, mimeographed sheets which could be added to the 
Directory were prepared by volunteers and the staff listing commit- 
tee assignments, membership of the twenty-four Care Groups into 
which the congregation was divided, officers of the Women-of-the- 
Church and Circle rolls. 

In the summer of 1972 an elder, Dr. W. T. Buddington, suggested 
that the Session and Board of Deacons approve use of the former 
Morrison house, 116 Kelly Street, by Cup of Water for their meeting 
place and headquarters. The Session had denied earlier requests from 
groups wanting to use the house because of the expense of repair- 
ing the house to make it usable. Cup of Water was a group of young 
Christians in the community who wanted to meet for Bible study and 
prayer as well as to welcome those who were not ready to relate 
themselves to any church. The particular concern of the group was to 
help those who had difficulty with substance abuse. Members of First 
Presbyterian who were on the Board of Directors for Cup of Water 
included F. Montgomery Steele, Chairman, with Tom Southall, Sally 


Falls, John Moseley, Ron and Maury Jamison, and Layton Mauze. The 
officers approved the request for a six month trial period, and the 
members of Cup of Water volunteered many hours in renovating the 
house for their use. After the trial period there was ready approval of 
extending Cup of Water's use of the building and requests for exten- 
sions of their lease were regularly approved until the house was 
removed. In these years Cup of Water, Yokefellows, Ruthie's Day 
Care Center, and the Emergency Child Care Center were all regular 
recipients of the benevolent giving of the church. Other support for 
these causes was assigned from the generous gift left to the church by 
Miss Ina Anderson. 

After Mr. Rayfield resigned his position as Associate Pastor, the 
Church felt the need of additional ordained leadership. Fortunately, 
Tom Southall, now living in Statesville and retired from the ministry, 
was willing to accept the invitation of the Session to serve as interim 
assistant pastor while the search for a replacement for Mr. Rayfield 
was carried out. He worked two days a week with primary empha- 
sis on visitation. He taught in the Church School, occasionally 
preached, and assisted Mr. Mauze as he was needed. Minutes of the 
Session show expressions of their appreciation for the fine service 
he rendered. 

The staff was to have a number of other changes. In November 
1972 the husband of Mrs. Edna Edwards was transferred by his 
employer to Richmond, so Mrs. Edwards resigned her position at the 
church. The position of Staff Secretary was filled by the employment 
of Mrs. Lucy W. Mahaffey. There is probably no person who is 
presently as well known and widely depended upon by members of 
Statesville First Presbyterian as Lucy In the period of over twenty 
years she has served in the church office members and groups have 
called on her to help in one way or another. She has seen every posi- 
tion on the church staff turn over and has helped to initiate each new 
person who has been secured. 

Three other changes occurred in 1974. At the first of the year Mrs. 
Mary Younger accepted a position at one of the local banks. For some 
months the work she had been doing was carried on by Doris G. 
Houston. Then Mrs. Dorothy P. Holcombe became the Secretary- 
Assistant Treasurer. Miss Penny Tulley resigned as the Director of 
Christian Education, effective June 30th. 

The committee named by the Session to seek a new assistant min- 
ister reported in April 1974 with the recommendation that a call be 

Pastor J. Layton Mauze 309 

extended to the Rev. Timothy Flynn Roach. Tim Roach had been pas- 
tor of the Royal Oaks Presbyterian Church in Kannapolis, N.C. since 
his ordination in 1971. He and his wife Jean were both natives of 
Mooresville. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina 
and had taken his theological training at Louisville Presbyterian 
Seminary before returning to North Carolina. He was ordained by 
Concord Presbytery at the time of his installation at the Royal Oaks 
Church. The Roaches, with their daughter Cristy (age 2), moved to 
Statesville the first of June 1974. Their second daughter, Amy, was 
born a couple of months later. One of their memories of Statesville 
was the way in which the ladies of the church visited them to greet 
the new baby not long after they had completed a round of visits 
welcoming their new assistant minister's family. Rather than pro- 
viding a manse, the church included a housing allowance in their 
call, and the officers helped them secure the home they selected on 
Berkshire Drive. 

The Session approved Mr. Roach's enrollment in a doctoral course 
at McCormick Theological Seminary. He took continuing education 
and some vacation time in Chicago and worked towards the Doctor 
of Ministry degree which he was awarded by McCormick in 1981. 

Under the guidance of Pastor Layton Mauze the Worship and 
Music Committee of the church, with T. Duke Williams as chairman, 
made a survey of the members of the congregation seeking their atti- 
tudes and suggestions on how the worship of the church could be 
enriched. A careful questionnaire was developed and after approval 
by the Session was distributed to the members. The leaders of each of 
the small District groups were given the responsibility of distributing 
the survey forms to the members of their care group. The committee 
collected the completed forms and made a careful study of them. 
They prepared a report of their findings which was printed in the 
June 1974 issue of Ye Fourth Creek Journal.* In general the responses 
were quite supportive of the practices of the church while offering 
some suggestions to the ministers, the Session and the music lead- 
ers for their consideration. 

A gift of lasting value was made to the church by Miss Gladys 
Stephens, the congregation's longtime organist, in memory of her 
parents and sister Marie: a set of twenty- five handbells from Schul- 
merick Carillons. When the handbells arrived Mrs. Betty Dotson, 
Director of the Senior Choir, organized a Handbell Choir made up of 
some of the Senior High young people. They performed for the first 


time at the Easter morning service on April 14, 1974. Later on, the 
Handbell Choir came to be composed of a group of ladies from the 
congregation. The handbells have continued to enrich the worship of 
the congregation in the years since and have fulfilled the goal of 
being "a means of bringing young people closer to music and the 
church." 5 

This is perhaps an appropriate place to note the unique contribu- 
tion which Gladys Stephens made to Statesville First Presbyterian in 
serving as the church organist for fifty years. She was named as 
organist after Hobart Whitman left Statesville in the 1930s and filled 
the position during the pastorates of Charles E. Raynal, Neill R. 
McGeachy, J. Lay ton Mauze and into the term of Grant Sharp. At the 
time she retired Miss Stephens presented a concert on the organ she 
had come to know so well. The congregation gathered for a dinner 
honoring her and presented her with a grandfather's clock as a sym- 
bol of their appreciation for her faithful service. 

After the departure of Penny Tully as D.C.E., the session asked 
Mrs. Bonnie Jean Lamberth, the wife of Clements E. Lamberth, Jr., 
who was serving as General Presbyter of Concord Presbytery to 
become the interim D.C.E. of the church. When she began, it was with 
the understanding that her term of employment would be six 
months, but by October her work was so well received that the Ses- 
sion elected her as the permanent Director of Christian Education. 
She accepted the appointment effective January 1, 1975 at the close of 
her six month term as interim. 

On the Sunday after Christmas 1975 the congregation recognized 
Andy Dearman and Laura Cole, two young people from the congre- 
gation who were studying for the ministry. They shared in leadership 
of the congregation's worship that day. 

John Andrew Dearman, the son of John H. and Barbara Dearman, 
studied at the University of North Carolina and Princeton Theologi- 
cal Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry by Concord Presbytery 
at a service held in his home church on October 16, 1977. He took his 
advanced work at Emory University and in 1982 joined the faculty of 
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas. The influ- 
ence of Statesville First Church has expanded through Andy's teach- 
ing to reach hundreds of young men and women preparing for the 

Laura Susan Cole, the daughter of Evan and Esther Cole, gradu- 
ated from Appalachian State University and Union Seminary. The 

Pastor J. Lay ton Mauze 311 

Session endorsed her to Concord Presbytery as a candidate for the 
ministry in January 1976. She married a fellow seminary student, Zeb 
Bradford Long, and the couple were commissioned as missionaries 
to Taiwan in 1980. About this time the church had learned of the 
retirement of their missionary, Esther Rice, and the resignation of the 
Sursavages as missionaries to Bangladesh. They decided to assign the 
congregation's missionary support to the Longs' overseas work, as 
well as to the Alastair Scougals in Belgium. 

Another young person from the congregation to whom the church 
gave financial support was Janet Dearman, who was first helped in 
a ministry to the students at V.P.I., later moving to Eastern Europe 
and serving. 

Carl W. Dumford had been elected and ordained as a deacon in 
the class which started its service in 1975. He had taken some theo- 
logical training at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary before he moved 
to Statesville. In May 1978 he came to the Session and received their 
endorsement to apply to Concord Presbytery to be accepted as a can- 
didate for the ministry. That fall he enrolled in Union Theological 
Seminary and took the full course of study leading to the degree of 
Master of Divinity. He was ordained on July 21, 1981 by Shenandoah 
Presbytery and became pastor of the Buena Vista (Virginia) Presby- 
terian Church. He is now pastor of the Taylorsville Church (North 

In addition to Laura Cole Long who is mentioned above, a number 
of young women from the congregation married ministers. In Octo- 
ber 1956 Helen Brown married the Rev. Robert G. Hall who is now on 
the faculty of Erskine Theological Seminary at Due West, S. C. Lila 
Frances McGeachy, daughter of Pastor and Mrs. Neill McGeachy, was 
wed to the Rev. Richard A. Ray in August 1959. The Rays live in Bris- 
tol, Tennessee where he is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. 

Elaine Moseley, daughter of Elder and Mrs. J. R. Moseley, married 
the Rev. John McNeel Handley. At the time of their wedding, Sep- 
tember 8, 1973, he was on the staff of the Lincoln County Mental 
Health Center but soon thereafter became the Associate General Pres- 
byter of Concord Presbytery. They now live in Clemmons, N.C. Eliz- 
abeth Dearman, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John H. Dearman, married 
John Lewis Sanderford Jr. in July 1979, who was enrolled to study for 
the ministry. That fall they went to New Haven, Connecticut where 
he studied theology at the Divinity School of Yale University. After 
graduation they came back to North Carolina where he served as pas- 



tor of the Trinity Presbyterian Church, Havelock, N.C. They now live 
in Virginia where he is the Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian 
Church of Charlottesville. 

Footnotes to Chapter XXIII 

1. Minutes of Board of Deacons, May 1971 

2. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, June 1971, pg. 1 

3. Session Book IX, Minutes April 10, 1972 

4. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, June 1974, pp 5 - 8 

5. Ibid February 1974, pg. 5 

1964 — Junior Choir ready for processional 

Pastor J. Lay ton Mauze 


Vacation Bible School, late 1980's. 


A Christmas Pageant, 1988. 



Christmas Pageant, 1980's. 


Vacation Bible School, 1980's. 

Pastor J. Layton Mauze 

;.-■- ■ mmm 


Youth Group in kitchen, early 1980's. 

Youth Group outing, late 1980's. 



Reception to welcome the East family, 1984. 

Virginia and Gaston Boyle at a luncheon in their honor in the Fourth Creek Meeting Hall. 

Pastor J. Layton Mauze 


The first and only Talent Show, 1986. 

Christmas Pageant, 1985. 





1934 - 1984 


In Loving Honor 


Choir Director 

By Th0 Sanctuary Choir 

Chapter Twenty-Four 

Outreach to Church and Community 

In the winter of 1976 Neill McGeachy made another valuable con- 
tribution to life of the Statesville Church when he delivered a series 
of lectures tracing the history of the congregation. Through his 
years as the pastor here and in the writing of his history of Concord 
Presbytery, he had accumulated a great deal of knowledge about the 
background of the congregation and organized it in a way which 
helped the membership know and understand the heritage they 
shared. As the present writer was starting this study Mrs. Frances 
McGeachy made her husband's files available to him and much in 
them was very helpful as the writing proceeded. The Session record- 
ed in their minutes a statement of commendation and appreciation 
to Mr. McGeachy "for the excellence of his January Lectures in the 
church." 1 

Some of the men in the church had voluntarily joined one another 
in a group which gave expression of their Christian concern through 
giving of their labor. "The Foot of the Cross Gang" was composed of 
about a dozen men who were particularly concerned about the needy. 
They gathered where their services could be helpful, meeting for sev- 
eral late afternoons and evenings of work to do household repairs and 
painting. When the rooms of the McGeachy Building needed painting 
"The Gang" took on the responsibility for doing it. Their contribution 
to a general refurbishing of the property of the church in 1976 includ- 
ed roof repairs, plastering, and painting in the Educational Building; 
new carpet and repairs in the main building; and painting the exteri- 
or woodwork of the Manse. 

Another valuable contribution in service to Christ that has strength- 
ened First Presbyterian Church has been made by members who have 
taken places of responsibility in the educational program. All those 
who have taught Sunday School, been advisors to the youth groups, 
and led the weekday Kindergarten might be mentioned and deserve 
to be listed, but only a few can be noted here. The writer remembers 


three who were particularly meaningful to him: Miss Elizabeth 
Ritchie, C. E. Pharr, and Frank Hall, Jr. These three represent a great 
number who have given of themselves to the children and young 
people of this congregation. 

In writing of his years in Statesville, Tim Roach paid a particular 
tribute to Paul Morgan's service in the two year old Sunday School 
class. In a letter he said: 

"Paul was a fixture in that class and had been since his college-aged son 
had been two. He shared a spirit of love and genuine concern for each 
child. And that same spirit was felt toward him by those children and 
their grateful parents. It was tremendous to see kids of all ages contin- 
ually seeking out Paul ... and he was sincerely interested in them. 
Though they hadn't been in his class for 12-15 years, they still shared 
the bond that had been established with Paul . . . He lived one of the first 
lives of significant Christian witness that those young two year olds 
experienced outside their home. For a guy who operated a clothing 
store through the week, in my opinion, Paul Morgan did his best work 
on Sunday mornings in that two year old class!" 2 

The church owned the properties all along on the east side of Kelly 
Street behind the church. One was the site on which the manse had 
been built at the time the McGeachys came. The house next to it had 
been removed and the children's playground was built there. Cup of 
Water occupied the former Morrison house, and the old Sample house 
had been vacant since the Rayfields move. 

In January 1975 officials from the Tri-County Mental Health Cen- 
ter approached the Session with a proposal to lease the Kelly House 
for the purpose of establishing a Group Home Facility for some 
developmentally disabled persons to whom they were giving care. 
There would be a maximum of eight residents, with a couple over- 
seeing the home. After a month's study the officers approved a five 
year lease which has been renewed regularyly since. Thus the 
church has made another contribution to the quality of life in the 

Besides the other work that was done making repairs and redeco- 
rating the church plant in 1976, another project was undertaken on 
recommendation of the Bicentennial Committee. The large rather 
bleak dining room /fellowship hall in the basement was redecorated, 
equipped, and put into order to be a place of which the congregation 
could be proud. On a Sunday evening in May, at the invitation of Dr. 
Richard Boyd, committee chairman, the congregation gathered for a 

Outreach to Church and Community 321 

special dinner at which time displays highlighting the traditions of the 
church were presented and the room was given a new name, "The 
Fourth Creek Meeting Hall." 

In August 1976 Tim Roach resigned as the assistant minister in 
order that he could accept a call to become pastor of the Northminster 
Presbyterian Church in Hickory. The congregation regretted seeing the 
Roaches leave Statesville, for in their two years here they had earned 
the love and respect of the people. At a reception in their honor, Gor- 
don Scott, the Clerk of Session, read the tribute signed by all members 
of the Session: 

"To Timothy Flynn Roach: For the infectious quality of his enthusiasm, 
and his genuine concern for all persons of all ages; for the grace of his 
humor and his perspective insights and understanding in dealing with 
spiritual issues and material concerns of this Congregation, we offer our 
genuine thanks and extend our heartfelt prayers for the continual effec- 
tiveness of his ministry in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ." 3 

Recognizing that their best chance of securing a new Associate 
would be to seek a young minister at the time he or she graduated 
from seminary and accepted his or her first work, the Session decided 
to secure an interim associate and seek a replacement for Mr. Roach 
from the rising senior class at the Seminary. Mr. Southall was still in 
Statesville, and he graciously accepted the Session's invitation to 
undertake this ministry once again. He agreed to give two days a 
week to the church with visitation as his primary emphasis. Mr. 
Southall continued to serve until the next summer when the new asso- 
ciate pastor arrived. 

During Dr. Mauze's years here two more ministers' families found 
their church home at Statesville First. Presbyterian clergy persons are 
members of Presbyteries, but members of their families unite with 
individual churches. The Rev. Joseph Lee Pickard came to Statesville 
to join the staff of Concord Presbytery as Associate General Presbyter 
and Treasurer. His wife Annette and son John became members of 
Statesville First Presbyterian. In 1976 another couple came. The Rev. 
Glenn Catlin was Director of Camp Ministries for Concord Presbytery, 
and his wife Lorraine was a Resource Person on Christian Education 
for the Presbytery. Though often called to some other part of the Pres- 
bytery on Sundays, these families made valuable contributions to the 
life of the congregation while they lived here. At one time four of the 
five on the professional staff of Concord Presbytery were a part of this 


Since the election of 1972, women had been chosen by the 
Statesville church to serve as elders or deacons. Although remaining 
a minority on the congregation's governing bodies, some women were 
selected as elders or deacons in each election which followed. Sally 
McQueen (Mrs. John W.) was chosen as an Elder in the class which 
began to serve in 1976. When she and her husband "Mac" moved to 
Iredell County, where he was the Stated Supply of the Tabor Church, 
she was already well known throughout the denomination for her 
work with the Assembly's Board of Women's Work, as a writer of cur- 
riculum material, and as a member of councils and committees of the 
General Assembly and the presbyteries where they had lived. Women 
Elders from this church had taken their turns representing the Session 
at presbytery and synod meetings, and in the Spring of 1977 Mrs. 
McQueen was elected as the Moderator of Concord Presbytery, the 
first woman from Statesville First to hold this office. At the same meet- 
ing in which she was elected, Layton Mauze was chosen by the Pres- 
bytery to be a commissioner to the annual meeting of the General 
Assembly. The next year Sally McQueen was named as a commis- 
sioner, where she was chair of the Standing Committee on the Church 
Catholic. In 1984 she was selected to be Moderator of the Synod. 

In 1977 his alma mater, Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, 
awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity to Joseph Layton Mauze III. 
He was able to go to Missouri for the investiture and on the same trip 
made a visit to his father who was pastor of the Central Presbyterian 
Church in St. Louis Dr. Mauze himself had received a D.D. from West- 
minster College 35 years before. 

Mr. Mauze made several trips to Richmond to interview prospec- 
tive candidates to become the new associate pastor here. The nomi- 
nating committee recommended to the congregation, and they ap- 
proved, extending a call to Michael Lewis Vaughn who was to 
graduate from Union Seminary in May of 1977. Mike had taken his 
undergraduate work at Hampden Sidney College and the University 
of Virginia. The respect in which he was held by his Seminary mates 
was shown by their choosing him as President of the Student Body for 
two years. After responding favorably to the call from the Statesville 
First Church, he met with Concord Presbytery, which examined and 
approved his coming to this church and named a commission to 
ordain and install him. Mike and his wife Sue moved here during the 
last week of June, and Mike assisted Dr. Mauze in leading the con- 
gregation's worship for the first time June 26th. At the morning wor- 

Outreach to Church and Community 323 

ship service on July 17, 1977, Presbytery's Commission proceeded 
with his ordination to the Gospel Ministry. The sermon that morning 
was preached by Dr. Sara Little of the faculty of Union Theological 
Seminary. Sue Vaughn had also studied under Dr. Little while a stu- 
dent at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Both of the 
Vaughns made significant contributions to the Youth work and Chris- 
tian education program of the Church. At this time Bonnie Lamberth 
was named by the Session as "Director of Children's Work" and Mike 
was the staff member with particular responsibility for overseeing the 
Youth and Adult Education. These two worked in a close collegial 
relationship with Dr. Mauze, supported by the other members of the 

Often Pastor Mauze made the manuscripts of his sermons available 
and copies were distributed to shut-ins and non-resident members. 
He recognized the importance of continuing communication with the 
members of the church, and both he and the associate pastor wrote 
articles for printing in "Ye Fourth Creek Journal" as well as individual 
and general letters to church members. 

First Presbyterian continued to be involved in reaching out to those 
with special needs in the community. Support of Ruthie's Day Care 
Center had continued for a number of years. As noted above, the 
church had made the two houses they owned on Kelly Street available 
to meet needs in Statesville: the former Morrison house for the sub- 
stance abuse program of Cup of Water and the Kelly House for the 
group residence sponsored by Tri-County Mental Health. In addition, 
members from this congregation joined others in the community in 
establishing and supporting Jubilee House, an emergency foster home 
for abused women and children. Another need which First Presbyter- 
ian joined with other churches in seeking to meet was support of a 
program to provide shelter for the homeless. 

Previously both the Session and the Board of Deacons had com- 
mittees which took responsibility for carrying out various parts of the 
church program. Frequently these committees had cooperated with 
committees of the Women of the Church to plan and carry through 
their objectives. In the mid 1970s new Congregational Committees 
were established, each composed of persons from the Session, the Dia- 
conate, and the Women's organization. The new Committees for 
Administration, Commitment, Service, Strengthening the Church 
(Education), Witness, and Worship were organized with each oversee- 
ing an area of the church's work. In the following years, the member- 


ship of the committees was named annually and the work divided 
among new groups with responsibility for Congregational Care, Evan- 
gelism, Personnel, Planning, and Property. By 1978 ninety-three mem- 
bers of the church were serving on the Congregational Committees. 

The Service Committee, during the chairmanships of Dottie Stauber 
and Caroline Gourley, proposed additional activities of outreach 
which were undertaken on recommendation of the committee. A pro- 
gram was started in which volunteers provided after school day care 
for children whose parents worked and who otherwise would have 
been left to wander the streets or return to empty homes. This new 
outreach was approved by the church officers, and the After School 
Day Care program was started in the fall of 1978. This volunteer pro- 
gram received the endorsement of the City School Board 4 and is 
another example of the way in which concern for the community was 
shown by the members of Statesville First Presbyterian. 

Another project which was supported by the church was the move- 
ment to establish a Retirement Community in Statesville. A group of 
citizens interested in accomplishing this goal was organized under the 
name "Good News of Statesville". They investigated the need and 
drew up proposals on how to establish such a facility. In December 
1979 a group of visitors from three churches in Lenoir reported on 
their experience with a center of 84 units sponsored by three Lenoir 
churches, which they had started with help from the federal Hous- 
ing and Urban Development (HUD) program. Good News drew up 
proposals on how to establish such a facility in Statesville and pre- 
sented them to the Session. The Session unanimously approved rec- 
ommending to the congregation that Statesville First (1) sponsor such 
a home, (2) authorize the founding of a nonprofit corporation for it, 
and (3) establish a "Mission Fund" for this purpose with a grant of 
$10,000 as seed money. 5 The Session minutes note that over $5,000 was 
pledged by Session members before the close of the meeting. The con- 
gregation met on January 13, 1980 and adopted the recommendations. 
At its next meeting the Session approved the establishment of a "Neill 
R. McGeachy Memorial Fund" for the proposed home. 

When incorporated, Good News of Statesville selected Caroline 
Gourley as its president. One proposal which was given serious con- 
sideration was to lease the "Barnes Hotel" building at the corner of 
Meeting and Walnut Streets and finish the interior to provide living 
quarters for senior citizens. After their application for grant money 
was turned down by HUD, they reapplied with a revised plan. Mr. 

Outreach to Church and Community 325 

and Mrs. Louis Bowles donated several acres of property on Signal 
Hill to the Church in 1980. In July 1982, during the time that Rev. Gas- 
ton Boyle was serving as Interim Supply for the church and after Dr. 
Mauze had moved from Statesville, the Session learned that HUD had 
turned down a second revised application for a federal grant and took 
action to see that the Signal Hill property or proceeds from it should 
go to the Retirement Community. The members of the Good News of 
Statesville group determined to move on towards their objective, even 
without federal funds. Finally, with a plan approved and HUD monies 
secured, the decision was made to erect a new facility under the name 
"King's Grant Retirement Community". 

Good News of Statesville had plans drawn for a center which they 
proposed to build on Signal Hill Drive and in May 1982 Caroline 
Gourley and I. T. Avery met with the Session and presented their pro- 
posal for the complex, with ground breaking to take place in June. A 
contract to erect the first thirty of the proposed sixty-five units was 
signed, construction was undertaken, and members of the congrega- 
tion were invited to the dedication of Kings Grant Retirement Com- 
munity on Sunday afternoon, May 15, 1983. The retirement center, 
which had been first endorsed under the ministry of Layton Mauze 
and carried forward while Gaston Boyle was the interim minister, was 
opened during the first year of Grant Sharp's pastorate. 

There were other activities expressing Christian concern in which 
members of the church participated beginning in the 1970s. The Ses- 
sion approved participation in "Pennies for Hunger", a program 
which began in the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina and has 
spread to Presbyteries throughout the church. Each person is asked to 
set aside 2<t a meal or other amount to be collected regularly and used 
to help provide food for the hungry in this nation and abroad. Some 
volunteered to be drivers to deliver "Meals on Wheels", a program 
which prepared food in a central kitchen for shut-ins, mostly elderly 
persons, to assure that they had proper nutrition with at least one hot 
meal a day. The Church began taking a turn in providing space for the 
Red Cross Bloodmobile to have a collection center for their regular vis- 
its to Statesville. 

Beginning in 1975 First Presbyterian Church had made special con- 
tributions to aid refugee families in Southeast Asia. Specific approval 
was given both by the Session and Board of Deacons to aid the "Rev. 
Nguyen Liem, refugee" and his family. 6 In the spring of 1979, a mes- 
sage was sent to members of the church signed by Layton Mauze and 


Michael Vaughn calling for the people of the church to participate in 
aiding some of the refugees from the "killing fields" in Cambodia. 
There was favorable response to the opportunity and the church 
decided to adopt a southeast Asian family and help them settle in 
Statesville. A Refugee Resettlement Committee was formed, a full 
investigation was undertaken, offerings received, and plans made to 
help the adopted family to find a home and secure employment. 
Announcement was made that the Taing family of five would arrive 
October 1, 1980. 

Mrs. John W. McQueen, who was chairperson of the Resettlement 
Committee, has reported that when they arrived, "A fully furnished 
two-bedroom apartment, complete with a fifty pound bag or rice was 
ready . . . " 7 The new family consisted of Chung Taing, his sister in law, 
Met, and her three children Meng, Pin, and Tea. Both the adults found 
jobs and the two older children entered school, though they could 
speak only a few words of English when they arrived. 

Chung Taing invited a friend Eric Yang, who had also escaped from 
the Communists, to come and live with him. He saved money to pur- 
chase tickets to bring his brother and wife and six children from Cal- 
ifornia to join him in Statesville. The Yang family arrived in January 
1981. The Resettlement Committee assisted them in finding a home 
and jobs. Their arrival was reported in the Spring issue of Ye Fourth 
Creek Journal. An additional refugee family became a part of the con- 
gregation in March 1984 with the arrival of Soeun and Heang Sun and 
their children: John, I Dang, and Se Sang. The outreach to these fami- 
lies from half way around the world has met a need and also enriched 
the Christian community here. 

On July 26, 1980 Michael Vaughan reported to the Session his desire 
to resign as the associate pastor in order that he could accept a call 
from the Broadmoor Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 
A congregational meeting on August 3rd agreed to join with him in 
requesting Concord Presbytery to dissolve the relationship between 
Mr. Vaughan and the Statesville church. At the time of his leaving, 
there were many expressions of gratitude to God for the three years 
ministry of the Vaughns in this place. 

Bonnie Lamberth had been the Director of Christian Education 
since 1974 on a part time basis. With Mr. Vaughan's leaving, the Ses- 
sion asked her to increase her work at the church to full time employ- 
ment. She agreed and continued in this position until November 1986. 
Bonnie particularly enjoyed working with the young people and 

Outreach to Church and Community 327 

began a number of new programs for them. She was a valuable asset 
to the church during the changes that occurred following Mike 
Vaughn's departure. 

The Session recognized the need for more ministerial leadership 
to assist Dr. Mauze. A pulpit search committee was named by the con- 
gregation to seek a new associate pastor. Recognizing that enlistment 
of a new associate could be an extended process, the Session decided 
to invite the Rev. Gaston Boyle Jr. to assist their pastor while the search 
was underway. Mr. Boyle was already well known in Statesville, hav- 
ing been pastor of the Oakland Presbyterian Church for ten years. He 
had been granted Honorable Retirement by Concord Presbytery at the 
end of 1979 but was willing to undertake some part-time work during 
his retirement. He agreed to help Dr. Mauze ten hours a week, with 
his primary emphasis on pastoral visitation. His work proved to be so 
acceptable that the search for a new associate was put on hold. Before 
a year was past, the congregation agreed to dissolve the Search Com- 
mittee in order that the Session could call Mr. Boyle as the Parish 

In the fall of 1980 a Capital Funds Drive was held to cover the cost 
of repairs and improvements that were needed. Cup of Water had 
vacated the former Morrison house on Kelly Street which they had 
occupied since 1972. The house needed such extensive repairs that it 
was decided to demolish it and to convert the space to parking. Sev- 
eral proposals were considered on how best to remove the old build- 
ing. The Fire Department offered to take it down in a series of con- 
trolled burns as practice for the firemen "if the roof can be removed". 8 
This offer was declined since the total job would include removing the 
debris after the demolition, grading, and graveling. When the house 
had been removed and the lot cleared, it was prepared as additional 
parking space next to the driveway that cut through to Kelly Street, 
which had been opened when the McGeachy Building was added. 

The biggest project underwritten in the Funds Drive was to make 
major repairs to the organ. The instrument had served the church for 
over fifty years. Some maintenance had been performed over the 
years and the console replaced ten years before, but it was recognized 
that a thorough restoration was needed. It was decided to have this 
work done by Casavant Brothers of Canada who had originally built 
the organ. The man from Casavant came in October 1980 and spent 
three or four days giving the instrument a complete overhaul. Two 
sections of reeds were removed and shipped back to the factory for 


repair. When they were returned and reinstalled the organ was 
restored to its original condition and will serve in the worship of God 
for many years to come. A substantial part of the cost of this work was 
covered by an Organ Fund which had been accumulated from memo- 
rial gifts established for this purpose during the previous ten years. 

Each of the ministers who have served Statesville First Presbyterian 
Church have made their own contributions to developing the church 
as it now exists. Charles E. Raynal had stressed elevating the impor- 
tance of the officers as the true leaders of the congregation, which 
included guiding them to faithful support of the doctrine and over- 
all program of the Presbyterian Church. This emphasis continued 
even through the Depression days when the church was still paying 
off the heavy debt incurred for their building which was erected dur- 
ing his pastorate. The years of Neill McGeachy's ministry here are 
remembered for the ways in which the educational program of the 
church was expanded and improved under his leadership as he 
stressed the importance of high quality Christian Education. Four of 
the departments in the church school were recognized as training cen- 
ters where teachers from other churches could come to learn how to 
improve their own teaching. His guidance led to the accomplishment 
of the goals set for the 1959 Development Program. 

Under Layton Mauze the church reached out to its community in 
an expanded way. As noted above, the congregation and individuals 
in it became involved in a whole series of programs and activities 
established to meet the needs of people in the area, whether or not 
they were members of this congregation. Presbyterians were found on 
the governing bodies overseeing each of these outreach groups, and 
the church gave them substantial financial contributions and even 
gained Presbytery support for some of them. Another way in which 
the church was strengthened under the leadership of Dr. Mauze was 
from his guidance in the reorganization of the committee structure 
and enlistment of persons to express their faithfulness to Christ 
through service on the committees. 

In November 1981 Dr. Mauze announced to the Session that he had 
received a call to become pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Fort 
Smith, Arkansas and desired to accept it. A congregational meeting 
was called for December 27th and the congregation agreed to join 
with him in requesting Concord Presbytery to dissolve the relation- 
ship between himself and the Statesville Church in order that he could 
transfer to the Presbytery of Arkansas. 

Outreach to Church and Community 329 

At its January meeting Concord approved the request, effective Jan- 
uary 15, 1982. On the final Sunday the Mauzes were to be in 
Statesville, a family dinner was held at the church following the morn- 
ing service. At this time expressions of appreciation were made for 
what this family had meant to the church over the previous ten years. 
When Dr. and Mrs. Mauze moved to Arkansas, their son, Layton IV 
and daughter, Mary Katherine moved with them. Michelle remained 
in North Carolina and not long thereafter married David Rokes. In 
1986 David and Michelle moved to Statesville where they continue as 
members of First Presbyterian Church. 

At the December meeting of the congregation when it voted to join 
with Dr. Mauze in his request to Presbytery, a pulpit search commit- 
tee of eight members was elected to find and recommend a person to 
become the new senior pastor of Statesville First Presbyterian Church. 
For the interim the Session secured the agreement of Gaston Boyle Jr. 
to continue his work with the church as Parish Associate. Mrs. Clem 
Lamberth planned and taught the Spring Communicant's Class that 
year, assisted by some of the elders. In dismissing Dr. Mauze, Pres- 
bytery appointed Mr. Boyle to be moderator of the Session until a new 
pastor was installed. The Session secured his agreement to change 
from part to full time employment for the months he would serve as 
the interim minister. Session Minutes note that after Mr. Mauze left, 
a series of ministers from the area took turns along with Mr. Boyle in 
filling the pulpit. From the staff of Concord Presbytery: the Execu- 
tive Secretary, Clements E. Lamberth, Jr. and the Assistant General 
Presbyters, John McN. Handley and Joseph Lee Pickard each 
preached here as did Sam D. Maloney and Max E. Polley from the fac- 
ulty of Davidson College. 

During this period of nine months while Mr. Boyle was the inter- 
im supply minister, several things happened which are worthy of 
note. Statesville First Presbyterian joined with several downtown 
churches to provide a daily hot meal for feeding the needy of the com- 
munity. In April the Session approved the recommendation of the Ser- 
vice Committee that facilities for a Soup Kitchen be provided by the 
church using our kitchen and fellowship hall. In June 1981 the Soup 
Kitchen was opened, and reports to the Session note that about 30 per- 
sons a day were being fed. The Broad Street Methodist Church and the 
First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church shared in the spon- 
sorship and took turns providing space for the meals to be served. 
Volunteers from the cooperating churches staffed the Soup Kitchen, 


which was open at the lunch hour five days a week. Supported by the 
churches, this service of feeding those in need continues in the com- 
munity under the supervision of Fifth Street Ministries at the former 
Avery Sherrill School in south Statesville, where they also conduct a 
shelter for the homeless in the winter months and for transients. 

Caroline Burgin Gourley, who had been a Deacon of First Presby- 
terian and chairperson of the Service Committee during the time 
when the Kings Grant Retirement Community was built, began study- 
ing for the ministry at the School of Divinity at Duke University. The 
Session noted her enrollment at Duke and approved her application 
to become a candidate under the care of Presbytery. She was enrolled 
by Presbytery in January 1983 and after graduation was ordained by 
Concord Presbytery. Mrs. Gourley joined the staff of Presbytery as 
Associate General Presbyter for Ministers and Hunger Action Enabler. 
From there, she was called to become the Executive Presbyter and 
Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina, with its 
office in Morganton. 

At their meetings in the summer of 1983 the General Assemblies 
of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the United Pres- 
byterian Church of the U.S.A. approved a plan for reunion of the two 
denominations which had been separate since the Civil War. The 
adopted proposal was sent to the presbyteries for their ratification. 
Earlier proposals had never secured approval from a sufficient num- 
ber of presbyteries to be adopted, but there had been a growing sen- 
timent favoring reunion since the last plan was voted on in 1954. The 
Session planned a study on reunion for the congregation and invit- 
ed Dr. J. Randolph Taylor who had been chairman of the joint com- 
mittee which prepared the proposed plan to come to Statesville to 
lead a discussion on reunion. When the votes were in, a large major- 
ity of the presbyteries had approved, with 53 for and 8 opposed. The 
meeting at which Concord Presbytery voted was held in the First 
Presbyterian Church, Statesville on January 28, 1983. The two Gen- 
eral Assemblies met separately in Atlanta and both adopted the Plan 
of Union. Then on June 10, 1983, they came together for an obser- 
vance of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at which time they 
founded the Presbyterian Church (USA), our present denomination. 

The Pulpit Nominating Committee reported to the Session that they 
were ready to make a recommendation of a minister to be called as the 
new pastor. The congregation met on Sunday, August 23, 1982 to hear 
their report and approved extending a call to Grant McGuffin Sharp, 

Outreach to Church and Community 331 

who had been the pastor of the Dunn (N.C.) Presbyterian Church. 
Word of his acceptance of the call was gladly received and plans were 
made to welcome him and his family when they came in October. 

Grant Sharp was a native of Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of 
Davidson College. After a year's study at Columbia Theological Sem- 
inary, he completed his theological training at Union Seminary in 
Richmond. Upon graduation, he was ordained to the ministry by 
Bethel Presbytery in 1959 where his first pastorate was at the Allison 
Creek Presbyterian Church, York, S. C. Before coming to Statesville, he 
had also ministered to the Highlands Church in Fayetteville and the 
Trinity Church in Laurinburg before going to Dunn in 1971. Concord 
Presbytery examined and received Mr. Sharp on October 12, 1982 and 
named a commission to install him. 

Grant and Carolyn Sharp and their children, Emily and Daniel, 
moved to Statesville and were welcomed with a covered dish supper 
held in the Fourth Creek Meeting Hall on October 14, 1982. He was 
installed as the thirteenth pastor of Statesville First Presbyterian 
Church by a commission of Presbytery on November 28, 1982. Build- 
ing on a great tradition, the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville 
has moved forward under the ministry of Grant Sharp and sees the 
past as pointing to continued service to its Lord and its community 
into the twenty-first century. 

Footnotes to Chapter XXIV 

1. Session Book X, Minutes — February 23, 1976 

2. Letter T. F. Roach to H. M. Raynal, July 30, 1990 

3. Ye Fourth Creek Journal, August 31, 1976, pg. 2 

4. Deacons' Minutes — May 14, 1979 

5. Session Book X, Minutes — December 10, 1979 

6. Deacons' Minutes — December 9, 1980 

7. Letter Sally McQueen (Davidson, N. C.) to H. M. Raynal, Feb. 22, 1994 

8. Deacon's Minutes — September 8, 1975 

9. Session Book X, Minutes — May 24, 1982 



Scenes from recent church retreats 

Outreach to Church and Community 




Outreach to Church and Community 




Outreach to Church and Community 



Rev. Grant Sharp 


This complete retelling of the story of Old Fourth Creek Con- 
gregation and First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, com- 
missioned by the Session during the year long 225th Celebra- 
tion in 1989, is due in large part to the commitment of Mrs. Roy 
Campbell, Jr., Mrs. Joseph S. Evans, Jr., and Mrs. Neill R. McGeachy. 

The publication of the story of the Fourth Creek Congregation 
would not have been possible without the generous contribution of 
the late Mary Thomas Andrews, in memory of her husband David 
Howell Andrews. 

Special thanks are also due Henry Middleton Raynal, a minister 
son of the church. He has ably undertaken the task of gathering 
together and transcribing all the historical data of this congregation 
for the benefit and blessing of future generations. 

According to the renowned church historian, Ernest Trice 
Thompson, the land known as the "Back Country" in 1730 was vir- 
tually unoccupied. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War there 
were more than a quarter of a million inhabitants, (page 41, Presby- 
terians in the South, vol. 1) From humble beginnings, in a diverse but 
largely Scotch-Irish population, the Fourth Creek Community 
formed, and during this time Fourth Creek Congregation had its 
founding. We are today what they envisioned so long ago — the 
Church continuing to carry forth the Gospel — now toward the 
twenty-first century. 

Our generation of First Presbyterians are called to be as our 
forebears "sturdy and aggressive", not only to keep the faith, but 
also to expand the faith. We are called upon to prepare not only to 
meet the responsibilities of today, but also to formulate plans for 
tomorrow, and to dream dreams. The First Presbyterian Church 
has been blessed by God for over two hundred and twenty-five 
years with all the resources that could be hoped for to make our 
mission possible. 


Moving toward the twenty-first century we join in prayer that God 
will enable the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, North Caroli- 
na to make her resources increasingly available to all God's people 
in the community, the nation, and the world. 

The call of our Lord to the Church of our Lord thus is: 

Go now, remembering what we have done here. 

Go, remembering what God has done here, 

But above all, Go, remembering who you are! 

You are the ones God has so loved 

That He gave His only Son. 

Go now, into the World 

As God's loved, forgiven, chosen, and empowered people. 

May the Peace of God, the Presence of Christ, 

And the Power of His Holy Spirit 

Be with us who live now; 

With those who have lived before us; 

And with those who will come after us. 

Grant McGuffin Sharp, Pastor 
August 1994 

* Presbyterians in the South, volume 1, page 31 


Honoring the 225th Anniversary 

Committee of First Presbyterian Church 

Statesville, North Carolina 

Whereas, the Congregation of First Presbyterian Church has just 
completed the year long celebration of its 225th year, and 

Whereas, the continuing efforts of the 225th Committee and its 
Chairperson have helped us better understand our heritage and tra- 
dition, and 

Whereas, no fewer than twenty events have commemorated this 
celebration throughout the year. 

Be it, therefore, RESOLVED by the Session of First Presbyterian 
Church, Statesville, North Carolina, that 

Mrs. J. S. Evans, Jr., Chairperson 

Mrs. Nathan O. McElwee 

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Long 

Fred H. Deaton, Jr. 

Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 

John S. Steele 

Mrs. Roy Campbell, Jr. 

Mrs. I. T. Avery, Jr. 

Mrs. Neill R. McGeachy 

Mrs. Walter Holland 

be honored and praised for the 225th Anniversary Celebration. 

Be it further RESOLVED that the attached chronology of events in 
furtherance of this Celebration be attached to this Resolution and 
herein incorporated. 

Be it further RESOLVED that this document be placed in the per- 
manent records of the First Presbyterian Church, Statesville, North 

This the 17th day of December, 1989. 

Rev. Grant M. Sharp Constantine H. Kutteh 
Moderator Clerk 


Of the many events in 1989, one of the most meaningful was a 
series of five historical mini-dramas written by Mrs. Joseph Evans, Jr. 
entitled "My Church — My Challenge". The dramas were enacted 
during the morning worship service throughout the year and were 
presented by members of the Congregation. 

The first play featured a present-day family with members from 
three generations discussing some of the important people in the 
founding of Fourth Creek Community and Congregation. They talk 
about the Indians in the area and look over Indian artifacts. The 
same characters in episode two discussed their Scotch-Irish ances- 
tors' reasons for sailing to America to settle and the trails they fol- 
lowed to North Carolina in Conestoga wagons from Maryland and 
Pennsylvania. Episode three introduced one of the earliest pioneer 
families, with parents James and Prudence Hall arriving in their 
wagon, along with their nine children. One son, James, grew up to 
become the congregation's minister, serving from 1778-1790. James 
Hall, Sr. and Thomas Allison greeted the supply ministers Elihu 
Spencer and Alexander McWhorter in the fourth part, set in the year 
1764. They have come to organize formally the Fourth Creek Con- 
gregation. Then William Sharpe discussed his important survey of 
1773 which showed the community to have 196 families at that 
time. The fifth drama in September had a cast representing the 
twelve former full-time pastors and the current one, Grant Sharp. 
Descendants of a number of those pastors played the roles in this 
final episode. 

Robert Gantt Steele, a member of our congregation who lives in San 
Francisco, was commissioned to design a special bulletin cover to be 
used throughout 1989. 

On January 1, Communion was observed to commemorate the 
225th Anniversary of Fourth Creek Congregation's organization, 
including a special litany. Guest speaker Dr. Albert Edwards, Pastor 
Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh, North Carolina, 
preached during worship on January 15. 

Two banners, commissioned by the Committee and designed and 
executed by Bonnie Lamberth, former Christian Educator, were pre- 
sented on January 29. The banners were carried in procession with the 
ministers and choir following in song. The historical banner was ded- 
icated to the memory of and in honor of all former pastors and was 
donated by Mrs. Neill R. McGeachy. The second banner includes the 
new seal of the Presbyterian Church (USA) 1983 and our former Con- 

Resolution 343 

cord Presbytery and new Salem Presbytery featured and was given by 
the Reverend and Mrs. Grant Sharp. 

The Davidson College Concert Choir performed in the church sanc- 
tuary the evening of April 12. Music selections were by Mozart, 
Fissinger, Petrich, Bernstein, and Pablo Casals. A reception followed 
in the Fellowship Room. Another special musical event on May 10 fea- 
tured the Loonis McGlohon Trio performing their "History of Jazz in 
the Church" program. 

Dr. William Powell, Professor Emeritus of the University of North 
Carolina at Chapel Hill and foremost authority of North Carolina his- 
tory, spoke on May 21. He presented biographical sketches of "Pioneer 
Presbyterian Leaders in Backcountry North Carolina" in his lecture. 

In late August, Christian Educator Mrs. John N. Gilbert, Jr. and the 
Christian Education Committee planned a brochure with the theme 
"preparing for the next 225 years" and mailed copies to all members. 
Church School opening in September carries out this emphasis and 
began with record attendance. 

On September 17 the Men's Bible Class planned and sponsored a 
church- wide picnic at Lakewood Park following the Sunday worship 
which was well attended. 

The highlight of our year-long celebration came on October 15, a 
glorious day of sunshine and mild temperatures closest to the formal 
organization date in 1764. Preparations for the big day involved 
members from all ages in the church. Special music was planned by 
Music Director Melody Morrison and was presented by the choir, 
beginning with an introit in the narthex and a processional to the 
Chancel. Dr. John W. Kuykendall, President of Davidson College, 
preached the sermon entitled" "A sense of Place and Purpose". Fol- 
lowing the service a group photograph was made on the front steps 
of the church as had been done at the 200th Anniversary. Lunch on 
the lawn was done covered dish style with colorful decorations to 
welcome the many visitors and families who had travelled back for 
the occasion. After the meal, the children were invited to the Birth- 
day Cake table to be served first. The warmth, excitement, nostal- 
gia and joyous fellowship experienced made us reluctant to leave. 
The experience was truly one of the high points in the Church's 225 

Dr. Joseph Layton Mauze, III, the only living former minister of 
First Presbyterian at that time, returned to deliver the sermon on 
November 26. An updated reprinting of the 1964 History Booklet was 


ready in December and made available to all families in the Church. 
On December 17, 1989, Reverend Grant Sharp recognized and praised 
the Committee during worship service, presenting each member a 
copy of the Session's resolution and presenting a framed certificate 
from Presbytery commending our celebration. 

The Presbyterian Historical Association 

and the 

General Assembly's 

Office of History 

of the 


honors the 



of the 

Ml-St- rtyf-sky+rrian Chnr c.K 

May this memorable occasion bring a deep appreciation for those who have served 

your congregation in the past and lead your people in new ways of service to the 

Lord Jesus Christ and to His world. 

The 15V j> day of liifflhrr in the year of our Lord > lAi 

-L-.v-i £' .tiuju-jM^ (ujaJI u). 

Moderator of the (• Stated Clerk of the $ DirectX of the 

General Assembly General Assembly Office of History 

Appendix A 

Fourth Creek/Statesville First Presbyterian Church 

The Rev. John Thompson 1751-1753 

The Revs. William McKennan and Matthew Wilson 1755-1756 

The Rev. Alexander Millar 1757-1758 

The Rev. Alexander Craighead 1762 

Candidate John McCreary 1767-1768 

The Rev. John McCreary 1770-1771 

The Rev. James Hall, D.D. (Pastor) 1778-1790 

The Rev. Lewis Feuilleteau Wilson (Pastor) 1793-1803 
The Revs. E. McCorkle, D.D., Samuel Paisley, D.D., John Irvin, 

and John Muschat (Stated Supplies between 1804 and 1822) 

The Rev. Daniel Gould (Pastor) 1823-1828 

The Rev. Robert Caldwell (Pastor) 1829-1832 
The Revs. J. I. McCutchan, Samuel Paisley, Jesse Rankin 

and J. E. McPherson (Stated Supplies between 1830 and 1840) 

The Rev. Elijah Frink Rockwell, D.D. (Pastor) 1840-1856 

The Rev. Pleasant Hunter Dalton (Pastor) 1852-1856 

The Rev. Walter W. Pharr, D.D. (Pastor) 1857-1869 

The Rev. William Andrew Wood, D.D. (Pastor) 1869-1899 

The Rev. Alexander Jeffrey McKelway, D.D. (Stated Supply) 1899-1900 

The Rev. Charles Malone Richards, D.D. (Pastor) 1900-1908 

The Rev. James Morton Wharey, D.D. (Stated Supply) 1908-1909 

The Rev. Charles Edward Raynal, D.D. (Pastor) 1909-1944 

The Rev. Neill Roderick McGeachy (Pastor) 1945-1969 

The Rev. Eugene D. Witherspoon, Jr. (Assistant Pastor) 1959-1960 

The Rev. William Lowry McBath (Associate Pastor) 1963-1965 

The Rev. Edwin H. Rayfield (Assistant /Associate) 1966-1972 

The Rev. Joseph Layton Mauze, EI, D.D. (Pastor) 1971-1981 

The Rev. Timothy Flynn Roach (Assistant Pastor) 1974-1976 

The Rev. Michael L. Vaughn, D.Min. (Associate Pastor) 1977-1980 

The Rev. Gaston Boyle, Jr. (Parish Associate) 1980-1983 


The Rev. Grant McGuffin Sharp (Pastor) 1983- 

The Rev. Christopher F. East (Parish Associate) 1984-1988 

The Rev. Robert Moberg Howard (Associate Pastor) 1990-1994 



Appendix B 


Fourth Creek Congregation and First Presbyterian Church 

of Statesville, North Carolina 

Began in 1764 

James Barr 

W. M. Stevenson 

John Stevenson 

Andrew McKenzie 

John Murdock 
Began 1764 - 1814 

John McLelland 

Mussendine Matthews 
Began in 1814 

Andrew Allison 

John Stevenson 
Began in 1823 

Joseph Davidson 

A. S. Matthews 

Thomas A. Allison 
Began in 1830 

John Murdoch 

Squire Lowry 
Began in 1836 

John Steele 

Eli Ramseur 

Abner Houpe 
Began in 1838 

James Montgomery 

David Montgomery 

Adam L. Allison 
Began in 1842 

Samuel Bell 

T. H. McRorie 
Began in 1858 

J. A. McLean 

J. F. Bell 

E. B. Stimson 

Began in 1867 

Thomas A. Bell 

J. Rufus Adams 

R. N. Freeland 
Began in 1872 

I. S. Witherspoon 

J. H. Hill 
Began in 1876 

W. F. Hall, Sr. 

M. H. Hill 

S. W. Stimson 

J. P. Flanigan 

J. P. Bradley 

John W. Poston 
Began in 1898 

F. A. Sherrill 

R. H. Rickert 
Began in 1901 

M. R. Adams 

J. C. Steele 
Began in 1911 

Clarence M. Steele 

J. A. Vaughn 
Began in 1917 

W. F. Moore 

J. M. Moore 

W. F. Hall 

John A. Brady 

J. F. Montgomery 
Began in 1925 

B. A. Cowan 

P. S. Easley 

R. M. Gray 

Walter L. Gilbert 

J. R. Hill 
John A. Scott 

Began in 1930 
June O. McAuley 
C. Donald Stevenson 
Jackson B. Roach 

Began in 1935 
Robert D. Grier 
Samuel J. Knox 
George H. Emory 
R. L. Johnson 
W. C. Wooten 

Began in 1943 
A. R. Morrow 
William T Warlick 
W. Frank Hall, Jr. 
Samuel P. Jones 
Karl Sherrill 
J. Halbert Stimson 

Began in 1946 

David H. Andrews 
James A. Brady 
Fred Hymes Deaton 
Dr. L. O. Gibson 
Dr. John Harvey 

Began in 1950 

Fred H. Crawford 
Harlee H. King 
John Montgomery 
T. Francis Scott 
Lonnie G. Turner 

Began in 1953 
Henry D. Rhodes 

Appendix B 


S. H. Stevenson 
Robert A. White 
Began in 1958 

Reuben R. Cowles 
John N. Gilbert 
Nathan O. McElwee 
Dan H. Purifoy 

Hereafter rotation of 
Elders began, with 
election to office for a 
limited term of service. 

Term began 1964 

Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 
Dr. John H. Dearman 
James P. Gray, Jr. 
J. Allen Knox 
John L. Milholland 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 
F. Montgomery 

Dr. Harry Underwood 
Term began 1967 

Charles D. Benbow, III 
Dr. Richard A. Boyd 
Dr. Weston T. 

Dr. Frederick W Dick 
Paul C. Meech 
Eugene H. Mcjunkin 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
T. Duke Williams, Jr. 
Term began 1972 
J. Coite Dotson 
Mrs. Herbert C. 
Joseph S. Evans, Jr. 
John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
Dr. Robert Long 
J. R. Moseley 
William Mc. Sherrill 
Mrs. Thompson B. 

Southall, Jr. 
William C. Warlick 

Term began 1973 
Robert E. Brady 
Evan L. Cole 
Mrs. C. D. Linney 
W. Paul Morgan 
Mrs. Dan H. Purifoy 
Herman E. Dickerson 
John Montgomery 
Dr. John Harvey 

Nathan O. McElwee 

Term began 1974 
Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 
Dr. John H. Dearman 
Clayton Furches 
Avery S. Jones 
Mrs. Neill R. 
F. Montgomery 

Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 

Term began 1975 
Dr. Richard A. Boyd 
Reuben R. Cowles 
Mrs. John N. Gilbert 
Mrs. Herbert C. 

J. Allen Knox 
James M. Sample 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
Carl Troutman, Jr. 
T. Duke Williams, Jr. 

Term began 1976 
David H. Andrews 
Ross M. Cowan 
Joseph S. Evans, Jr. 
Eugene H. Mcjunkin 
Mrs. John W. 
William A. Mills 
William Mc. Sherrill 
William C. Warlick 

Term began 1977 
Andrew N. Cowles 

Dr. John H. Dearman 
Robert H. Gourley 
Cecil E. Graybill, Jr. 
W. Paul Morgan 
Mrs. Thompson B. 

Southall Jr. 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
O. A. Dearman, Jr. 

Term began 1978 
Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 
Charles D. Benbow, III 
C. Nolton Boan 
Evan L. Cole 
John W. Donaldson 
Dr. Richard E. Falls 
John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
John S. White 

Term began 1980 
Dr. Richard A. Boyd 
Herman E. Dickerson 
Richard A. Hall 
Elbert W. Holt 
Mrs. Eugene 
Franklin J. Svoboda 

Term began 1981 
Ross M. Cowan 
Mrs. John H. Dearman 
Mrs. Coite Dotson 
Ted L. Edwards 
Paul C. Meech 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 

Term began 1982 
Cecil E. Graybill, Jr. 
Robert H. Lunt 
Mrs. Nathan O. 

Mrs. John W. 
William Mc. Sherrill 
T. Duke Williams, Jr. 

Term began 1983 
Mrs. Herman 



Evan L. Cole 
L. S. Gilliam, Jr. 
William A. Mills 
Mrs. Francis R. Quis 
F. Montgomery 

Term began 1984 
Dr. Richard A. Boyd 
Mrs. Allen Brawley 
Dr. John H. Dearman 
John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
Mrs. Eugene Mcjunkin 
Stanley M. Staples 

Term began 1985 
Mrs. Coite Dotson 
Ted L. Edwards 
Costi H. Kutteh 
Paul C. Meech 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 
William C. Warlick 

Term began 1986 
C. David Benbow, rV 
Robert H. Gourley 
W. Paul Morgan 
Mrs. John W. 
Mrs. John F. 

Frank A. Stewart 
Term began 1987 

Mrs. Richard A. Boyd 

Mrs. Gaston Boyle, Jr. 

Dr. Walter B. Holland 

David P. Parker 

David Steele 

T. Duke Williams, Jr. 
Term began 1988 

Mrs. Evan L. Cole 

Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 

Mrs. John H. Dearman 

Mrs. Herman 

John N. Gilbert, Jr. 

Stanley M. Staples 
Term began 1989 

Mrs. Charles D. 
Benbow, III 

Paul L. Gilbert, Jr. 

Costi H. Kutteh 

Mrs. Eugene Mcjunkin 

Paul C. Meech 

John S. Steele 
Term began 1990 

Dr. Richard A. Boyd 

Dr. Richard Dickey 

Ted L. Edwards 

Dr. Elizabeth 

Mc. Mills 
W. Paul Morgan 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 

Term began 1991 
C. David Benbow, IV 
Stuart Deal 
Dr. Steven K. Johnson 
John D. King, Jr. 
Mrs. Robert Long 
T. Duke Williams, Jr. 

Term began 1992 
Phillip Brown, Jr. 
Donald C. Haynes 
David P. Parker 
Mrs. George A. Scott 
David Steele 
Mrs. Frank Stewart 

Term began 1993 
Paul L. Gilbert 
Mrs. Walter B. Holland 
Costi H. Kutteh 
William D. Lackey 
James P. Mallory 
Paul C. Meech 

Appendix C 


Fourth Creek Congregation and First Presbyterian Church 
of Statesville, North Carolina 

Began in 1858 

Dr. W. S. Tate 

Marshall Bell 

Alex Stockton 

Jacob A. Davis 

H. B. Reese 
Began in 1863 

J. W. Stockton 

J. R. Adams 

Jacob Davis 

J. S. Rickert 
Began in 1867 

John A. Bowles 

Charles Summers 

Harvey Morrison 

David C. Thompson 
Began in 1876 

A. M. Witherspoon 

W. S. Phifer 

Logan Stimson 
Began in 1881 

J. B. Gill 

J. A. Milligan 

J. A. Watts 

J. B. Woods 

W. W Walton 
Began in 1888 

Dr. M. R Adams 

W. F. Hall 

F. A. Sherrill 
Began in 1901 

W. W. Turner 

W. J. Poston 

CM. Steele 

J. A. Brady 

J. A. Cooper 
Began in 1906 

J. A. Vaughn 

J. R. Hill 

E. B. Watts 

J. T. Montgomery 
Began in 1912 

J. E. Sloop 

Charles Summers 
Began in 1917 

Walter L. Gilbert 

Dr. L. O. Gibson 

W. H. Morrison 

Robert L. Poston 

Robert H. Rickert 

John A. Scott 

Karl Sherrill 
Began in 1925 

C. D. Stevenson 

Noble B. Mills 

H. Oscar Steele 

H. T. Steele 

Fred H. Deaton 

P. D. Kennedy 

J. B. Roach 
Began in 1930 

A. L. Lowrance 

Harry H. Suttenfield 

Gordon P. Scott 

William T Warlick 

James A. Brady 

J. Ben Cooper 

C. A. Poole 

John L. Milholland 
Began in 1935 

Lathan Mills 

Karl T. Deaton 

Calvin Monroe Adams 

M. S. Choate 

L. A. Ervin 

Frank Hall 

J. Henry Hall 
Francis C. McAuley 
J. Halbert Stimson 
Dr. John Harvey 

Dr. Ross S. McElwee 

With the next class, the rota- 
tion of the Deacons began. 

Began in 1939 

Henry Allen 

David H. Andrews 

Samuel P. Jones 

Zebulon V. Long, Jr. 

A. R. Morrow 
Began in 1941 

John N. Gilbert 

James W Johnston 

L. A. Parks 

Alexis P. Steele 

J. C. Steele, Jr. 

Lonnie G. Turner 
Began in 1943 

Fred N. Crawford 

Ralph T Holmes 

A. L. Lowrance 

Comey E. Pharr 

Gordon P. Scott 

Robert A. White 
Began in 1946 

Isaac T Avery, Jr. 

L. A. Black 

Mark Davis 

John G. Knox 

Francis C. McAuley 

Joseph G. Miller 

John Scott Raynal 

James M. Sample 



Began in 1948 
W. Henry Hall 
A. Jerman Boyd 
Karl T. Deaton 
Paul L. Gilbert 
Harlee H. King 
Nathan O. McElwee 
C. A. Poole 
Fred T. Slane, Jr. 

Began in 1950 
H. C. Brett 
Reuben R. Cowles 
James M. Deaton, Jr. 
John Cooper Fowler 
Herbert C. Hawthorne 
W. H. Morrison 
Henry D. Rhodes 
C. L. Sears 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
S. H. Stevenson 

Began in 1952 
Louis A. Brown 
George Cathey 
John B. Earle 
Joel Martin 
John L. Gilbert 
William L. Gilbert 
Dan H. Purifoy 
Robert A. White 

Began in 1953 
Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 
J. Harold Brawley 
O. A. Dearman, Jr. 
Dr. Paul M. Deaton 
James P. Gray, Jr. 
Cecil E. Graybill, Jr. 
Ralph T. Holmes 
Thomas Lee Kincaid 
Jack M. Milam 
John Scott Raynal 
Tunis Romein, Ph.D. 
James M. Sample 
F. Montgomery Steele 
William C. Warlick 
William I. Ward, Jr. 

Began in 1955 

Charles D. Benbow 

James A. Brady, Jr. 
Karl T. Deaton 
Dr. Frederick W. Dick 
Henry R. Long 
James W Johnston, Jr. 
J. Wesley Jones, Jr. 
Nathan O. McElwee 
Eugene H. Mcjunkin 
Allen L.Mills, Jr. 
James E. Pharr 
Clarence N. Steele 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 
Ed R. Segee 

Began in 1957 
Louis G. Bowles 
H. C. Britt 
Coite Dotson 
Joseph F. Ketchie, Jr. 
J. Allen Knox 
Paul C. Meech 
W. Paul Morgan 
Dr. John Harvey 
Nicholson, II 
J. Edgar Rankin 
Butler M. Rhodes 
Fred T. Slane, Jr. 
Van G. Stauber 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
Max Tharpe 
Dr. Harry Underwood 

Began in 1959 
George Cathey 
Dr. John H. Dearman 
Fred H. Deaton, Jr. 
Joseph S. Evans, Jr. 
L. S. Gilliam 
L. D. Haigh 
James W. Johnston 
Vance Kennerly 
Fred W Lowry 
John L. Milholland 

Began in 1960 
Robert E. Brady 
Herman E. Dickerson 
Herbert C. Hawthorne 
Thomas Lee Kincaid 

Avery S. Jones 
F. Montgomery Steele 
T. Duke Williams 
James P. Gray, Jr. 
John S. White 

Began in 1961 

Andrew N. Cowles 
O. A. Dearman, Jr. 
John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
James P. Gray, Jr. 
J. Albert Hiatt 
Avery S. Jones 
W. Dent Lackey 
William H. Neal 
Dr. Robert M. 
Rickert, Jr. 
George A. Scott 
J. C. Steele, Jr. 
William C. Warlick 
William E.Webb, Jr. 

Began in 1964 

Charles D. Benbow, III 
Dr. Richard A. Boyd 
Dan M. Busby 
Karl T. Deaton 
Dr. Paul M. Deaton 
Dr. Fred W Dick 
William E. Graham, Jr. 
Cecil E. Graybill, Jr. 
J. Wesley Jones, Jr. 
John A. Ladd, Jr. 
Dr. Robert Long 
Louis W MacKesson, 

Eugene H. Mcjunkin 
William Mc. Sherrill 
Clarence N. Steele 
Began in 1966 
Dr. Weston T. 

Evan L. Cole 
L. S. Gilliam, Jr. 
William P. Howard 
Paul C. Meech 
Louis A. Melsheimer 
W. Paul Morgan 
J. Edgar Rankin 

Appendix C 


William H. Lee 
Fred T. Slane, Jr. 
Kenneth R. White 
T. Duke Williams, Jr. 

Began in 1967 
Dr. William H. 

Cherry, Jr. 
Dr. Marshall B. Corl 
John W. Donaldson 
P. Pressley Gilbert 
John R. Moseley 
Francis R. Quis 
Robert E. Brady 
Dan M. Busby 
Fred H. Deaton, Jr. 
James M. Deaton, Jr. 
Herman E. Dickerson 
J. Coite Dotson 
Joseph S. Evans, Jr. 
Luther G. Hunter 
Thomas Lee Kincaid 
John A. Ladd, Jr. 
Joel F. Martin 
William C. Warlick 

Began in 1969 
Ralph C. Brown 
Karl G. Kirkman, Jr. 
William A. Mills 
T. Frank Parlier 
George W. Ragan, Jr. 
J. William Thornton 
O. A. Dearman, Jr. 
John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
J. Albert Hiatt 
Avery S. Jones 
Joe. L. Moore 
George A. Scott 

Began in 1972 

Ben A. Stimson, Jr. 
John S. White 
Albert F. Walser 
Clayton Furches 
W. Edward Hall 
J. Wesley Jones, Jr. 
Paul J. Kennedy, Jr. 
Mrs. Nathan O. 

Mrs. Eugene Mcjunkin 
Dr. Robert M. 
Rickert, Jr. 
James M. Sample, Jr. 
Carl Troutman, Jr. 
William J. Wilson, III 

Began in 1973 
Michael Carson 
Ross M. Cowan 
Stamey J. Holland, Jr. 
Dr. Richard E. Falls 
Joel L. Marlin, Jr. 
Mrs. F. Montgomery 

Frank A. Stewart 
Mrs. John H. Dearman 
Henry R. Long 
Luther G. Hunter 

Began in 1974 
C. Nolton Boan 
Andrew N. Cowles 
Mrs. John N. Gilbert, 

Mrs. Karl G. Kirkman 
Mrs. Paul C. Meech 
Dewey L. Raymer, III 
Emmett Scroggs 
Mrs. Van G. Stauber 
Dr. Thomas B. 

Began in 1975 
A. J. Barbee 
Mrs. Kenneth Conger 
John W. Donaldson 
Carl Dumford 
Richard A. Hall 
Mrs. Francis Quis 
Thomas A. Slane 
Frank J. Svoboda 
John S. White 
Kenneth R. White 

Began in 1976 

Miss Frances Brawley 
James M. Deaton, Jr. 
Mrs. Coite Dotson 
Nyal W. Deems 
Karl G. Kirkman, Jr. 

William Frickhoeffer 
Dr. J. B. Goff 
Mrs. Albert F. Walser 
C. David Benbow, IV 
James M. Sample, Jr. 
Began in 1977 

Mrs. Allen M. Brawley 
Bedford E. Cannon 
Mrs. Marshall B. Corl 
Ted L. Edwards 
Thomas Lee Kincaid, 

Costi H. Kutteh 
Ben A. Stimson, Jr. 
Mrs. George A. Scott 
William J. Wilson, Jr. 
Dr. Harry G. Walker 
Began in 1978 
Mrs. Herman E. 

Mrs. Michael Dodick 
James Lamberth 
Nathan O. McElwee 
Fred Peteet 
J. Wesley Purdie 
Mrs. John F. Robertson 
Donald Rubright 
Dwight Ward 
Began in 1980 
Mrs. Charles D. 

Benbow, III 
Dr. Dwight 

S. L. Collins, Jr. 
Frank W. Furchess 
Mrs. Robert H. 

Nathan T Neely, Jr. 
John S. Steele 
Frank A. Stewart 
Began in 1981 

C. David Benbow, IV 
Mrs. Richard A. Boyd 
Charles Cole 
William H. Frickhoeffer 
Mrs. John N. Gilbert, Jr. 
Luther G. Hunter 



Mrs. Sue Langfitt 
James T. Staples 
Began in 1982 

Mrs. Evan L. Cole 
Paul L. Gilbert, Jr. 
Mrs. Norman Harris 
Thomas Lee Kincaid, Jr. 
William D. Mashburn 
Mrs. George A. Scott 
David S. Steele 
Hugh Bingham 
Mrs. Dwight 

Richard A. Boyd, Jr. 
Dr. Walter B. Holland 
Dr. O. Jerry Hill 
Louis W. MacKesson, 

David P. Parker 
James M. Sample, Jr. 
Mrs. Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 
Mrs. Albert F. Walser 
Began in 1984 
James Appleby 
C. Nolton Boan 
Mrs. Charles D. 

Benbow, III 
Mrs. Ralph C. Brown 
Mrs. E. Bedford 

Mrs. Van G. Stauber 
John S. Steele 
Mrs. Kenneth White 
Began in 1985 

Dr. Richard A. Dickey 
Mrs. John N. Gilbert, 

Paul L. Gilbert, Jr. 
John D. King 
Jon F. Nesbit 
Mrs. James M. 

Sample, Jr. 
Mrs. Frank A. Stewart 
James T. Staples 
James Tarman 
Began in 1986 
Leon A. Brown 

Fielding Deaton 
Dr. R. Norman Harris 
Donald G. Haynes 
Mrs. Jane T. Lentz 
Mrs. Paul C. Meech 
Ronald Oliphant 
Russell B. Rhodes 
Began in 1987 
Phillip Brown 
Dr. James P. Carter 
Stuart Deal 
Thomas W Dickerson 
Dr. Steven K. Johnson 
James B. Mallory, III 
Mrs. Louis W 
MacKesson, Jr. 
William B. Pitt 
Mrs. John S. Steele 
Began in 1988 

James S. Davenport 

W Edward Hall 

Thomas Lee Kincaid, 

William P. Morgan, Jr. 

Peter Sahhar 

Van G. Stauber 

William E. Webb, IE 

Mrs. T. Duke 
Williams, Jr. 
Began in 1989 

C. Monroe Adams, Jr. 

C. Nolton Boan 

Paul L. Davidson 

Mrs. Paul L. Gilbert, 

William D. Lackey 

William A. Long 

Ralph F. Loftin 

Mrs. Albert F. Walser 
Began in 1990 

Leon A. Brown III 

Fielding Deaton 

Dr. O. Jerry Hill 

John D. King 

Mrs. James B. 
Mallory, III 

Richard Sears 

Frank A. Stewart 
James Tarman 
Began in 1991 

Dr. James P. Cartner 
Sam Cathey 
Mrs. Stuart Deal 
Rebecca Gaston 

Mrs. Costi H. Kutteh 
Jon F. Nesbit 
Mrs. David Rokes 
Mrs. Gordon P. Scott, 

Began in 1992 

Alan G. Carpenter 
George E. Caudle 
Wayne M. Cross 
Thomas W. Dickerson 
William O. 

Hollingsworth, Jr. 
Elbert W Holt, Jr. 
Mrs. William D. 

Lackey, Jr. 
Peter Sahhar 
Began in 1993 
Marv Adkins 
Mrs. Robert E. Brady 
Raymond M. Just 
Craig May 
Dr. John C. Newell 
Mrs. Ray D. Raymer, 

William Mc. Sherrill, 

Mrs. Jane Tarman 
Began in 1994 
Mrs. Fred Coley 
Donn C. Hansen 
Mrs. Steven Johnson 
Mrs. Mark S. Mclnnis 
Mrs. Ronald Oliphant 
Dick Sears 
Mrs. William 

Billie A. Meeks 

Appendix D 


The Women's organization recognizes some of its members for their 
service to God and to the Church by electing them to Lifetime Mem- 
bership in the Women of the Church. A Citation is prepared honoring 
each one who is then given a Certificate and Life Member pin. Those 
who have been selected for this recognition by the Women of 
Statesville First Presbyterian Church are: 

1. Mrs. Clarence Steele 

2. Mrs. John L. McBride 

3. Mrs. R. M. Gray 

4. Mrs. Z. V. Long 

5. Mrs. Charles E. Raynal 

6. Mrs. Lonnie Turner 

7. Mrs. David Andrews 

8. Mrs. Gaither Hall 

9. Mrs. Ivah Lewis 

10. Mrs. James R. Hill 

11. Mrs. W. B. Ramsey 

12. Mrs. Joseph G. Miller 

13. Miss Rosamond Clark 

14. Mrs. D. M. Cowan 

15. Mrs. John A. Scott 

16. Mrs. D. B. Krider 

17. Mrs. H. H. King 

18. Mrs. Herbert Morrison 

19. Mrs. Glenn McClelland 

20. Mrs. Lloyd Shaw 1956 

21 . Mrs. Tom McElwee 1958 

22. Mrs. James Brady 1958 

23. Mrs. C D. Stevenson 1958 

24. Mrs. Neill R. McGeachy 1959 

25. Miss Mamie McElwee 1959 

26. Mrs. Joseph Evans, Jr. 1959 

27. Mrs. W. T Warlick 1960 


28. Mrs. Herbert Hawthorne 


29. Mrs. Harold Brawley 


30. Mrs. McK. R. Long 


31. Mrs. Vance Kennerly 


32. Mrs. John Montgomery 


33. Mrs. Gordon P Scott 


34. Mrs. John Gilbert 


35. Mrs. J M Deaton 


36. Mrs. C D Linney 


37. Miss Gladys Stephens 


38. Miss Louise Gilbert 


39. Mrs. William B Stimson 


40. Mrs. Allen Brawley 


41. Mrs. Fred Slane, Jr 


42. Mrs. J. A. Steele 


43. Miss Carrie Louise Davidson 


44. Mrs. Allen Mills, Jr. 


45. Mrs. E. H. Mcjunkin 


46. Mrs. Ralph Holmes 


47. Miss Iris McDougald 


48. Mrs. J. W. Johnston 


49. Mrs. John Dearman 


50. Mrs. Karl Deaton 


51. Mrs. Van Stauber 


52. Mrs. Nathan McElwee (Now Mrs. J. H. Nicholson II) 


53. Mrs. Thompson Southall 


54. Miss Elizabeth Hill 


55. Mrs. Billie Deaton Price 


56. Mrs. E. B. Stafford 


57. Mrs. C. E. Graybill, Jr. 


58. Mrs. Adabelle B. Boyd 


59. Miss Elizabeth Ritchie 


60. Miss Eugenia Short 


61. Miss Frances Brawley 


62. Mrs. Dan H. Purifoy 


63. Mrs. Fred Crawford 


Appendix D 355 

64. Mrs. C. E. Mills 1977 

65. Mrs. Paul Meech 1978 

66. Mrs. J. C. Fowler 1978 

67. Mrs. Frank Quis 1979 

68. Mrs. Dent Lackey 1979 

69. Mrs. I. T. Avery, Jr. 1980 

70. Mrs. Gordon Scott, Jr. 1980 

71. Mrs. W. T. Buddington 1980 

72. Mrs. Coite Dotson (Now Mrs. Robert Long) 1981 

73. Miss Rosa Steele 1981 

74. Mrs. Layton Mauze 1982 

75. Mrs. Frank King 1982 

76. Mrs. Reuben Cowles 1983 

77. Mrs. John Gilbert, Jr. 1983 

78. Miss Rebecca Ritchie 1983 

79. Mrs. F. Montgomery Steele 1984 

80. The Rev. Caroline B. Gourley 1985 

81 . The Rev. Laura Cole Long 1985 

82. Mrs. Albert F. Walser 1986 

83. Mrs. H. E. Dickerson (Now Mrs. John Persons) 1986 

84. Mrs. Clements Lamberth 1986 

85. Mrs. J. Wesley Jones, Jr. 1987 

86. Mrs. T. Duke Williams 1987 

87. Mrs. Evan Cole 1988 

88. Mrs. W. M. Freeman 1988 

89. Mrs. C. D. Benbow, HI 1989 

90. Mrs. John Donaldson 1989 

91. Mrs. John McQueen 1990 

92. Mrs. C. E. Liess 1990 

93. Mrs. J. E Robertson 1991 

94. Mrs. Ben A. Stimson 1991 

95. Mrs. Gaston Boyle 1992 

96. Mrs. Kenneth White 1992 

97. Mrs. Fred Coley 1993 

98. Mrs. Andrew Cowles 1993 


Appendix E 


(lists compiled 1953 by 
Mrs. W. Bonner Knox and Louis A Brown) 


William Brown John Morrison 

David Caldwell William Morrison 

James Dobbins John McWhorter 

Hugh Hall John Nesbit 

James Hall James Purivance 

William Hall John Purivance 

James Hamilton John Reed 

James Hill John Sharpe 

Robert Hill William Sharpe 

James Holmes Fergus Sloan 

Christopher Houston John Smith 

James Houston John Stuart 

Thomas Irwin John Stephenson 

John King William Stephenson 

James Knox John Thompson 

Joseph Knox John Wilson 

Mussendine Matthews William Young 


Gladius Alexander R. V. Cowan 

Richard Allison J. M. Crawford 

C. M. Andrews R. A. Deal 

J. B. Andrews W M. Deal 

T. A. Bailey J. N. Dellinger 

James Barkley W S. Eagle 

J. P. Burke M. N. Hall 

Dr. W M. Caldwell Dr. L. Harrill 

P. C. Carlton Dr. William Hill 

P. B. Chambers J. G. Knox 

W A. Chambers Archibald Kelly 

John Cooper Robert O. Leinster 

Appendix E 


James Montieth 
J. N. Morgan 
Thomas Murdock 
J. H. McElwee 
William B. McEwen 
W. A. McLelland 
W. F. McRorie 

C. A. Mills 
M. M. Mills 
W. C. Mills 

J. A. Morrison 
R. A. Morrison 
H. A. Overcash 

D. A. Perry 
T. M. Phifer 
W. S. Phifer 

John Poston 

E. P. Rickert 
J. H. Rickert 
William T. Rickert 
W. M. Robbins 
George Shuford 
A. K. Simonton 
W. T. Speck 

J. C. Steele 
N. P. Summers 
A. M. Walker 
W. W. Walton 
J. C. White 
Robert O. White 
W. A. Wood 

F. F. Wooten 


R. P. Allison 
Robert L. Flanigan 
J. Henry Hall 
Emmett W. Holton 

Will C. Kennerly 
Roy L. Leinster 
W. J. Marlin 
Miles C. Wood 


C. Monroe Adams 
Minor R. Adams, Jr. 
Henry Allen 
Raymond Allison 
William L. Allison 
David E. Barnett, Jr. 
John M. Barringer 
L. A. Black 
A. J. Boyd 

Fred (Mike) Bradley 
James Bradley 
Frank Brady 
James A. Brady, Sr. 
William R. Brady 
S. V. Brumley 
Dr. R. A. Campbell 
Johnnie Clark 
J. Ben. Cooper, Sr. 

Miles Cowles 

William H. H. Cowles 

Milton Cunningham 

W C. Current 

Augustus Deaton 

Frank Deaton 

L. E. Dimmette 

Dr. J. C. Dye 

Dr. P. S. Easley 

D. M. Etheridge 

R. L. Flanigan 

Rev. Herbert A. French 

Dr. Long Gaither 

Dr. L. O. Gibson 

Allen G. Gill 

John B. Gill, Jr. 

R. M. Gray 

Frank A. Hartness 



William Hartness 

Frank Hill 

Dr. Robert Hill 

Thomas M. Hill 

J. C. Holder 

Ralph T. Holmes, Sr. 

John B. Ives 

J. W. Johnston, Sr. 

S. P. Jones 

J. N. Kincaid 

H. H. King 

Sam J. Knox 

McK. R. Long 

Francis McAuley 

Dr. J. H. McClellan 

Richard R. McLaughlin 

Hugh McRorie 

Robert McRorie 

Oscar M. Marvin 
Charles C. Mills 
Charles D. Mills 
Lonnie N. Mills 
Joseph Miller 
Samuel McK. Miller 
Richard Mitchell 
Henry D. Rhodes 
Gordon P. Scott 
John A. Scott, Jr. 
Locke R. Simons 
S. H. Stevenson 
E. B. Stimson 
Lonnie G. Turner 
W. T Warlick 
Leonard White, Jr. 
Robert A. White 
S. Krider Wood 


C. M. Adams, Jr. 
Ben S. Aldridge 
Thomas A. Allison 
Isaac Thomas Avery, Jr. 
W. Richard Battley 
Charles D. Benbow 
Lee A. Black, Jr. 
James A. Brady, Jr. 
James E. Bryant 
Richard Bryant 
William Bryant 
Charles W. Carlton 
William P. Carter 
Jack Charles 
Ray C. Clendenin 
David E. Coley 
Fred C. Coley 
Ben Cooper, Jr. 
George Cornelius 
Miles A. Cowles 
Stuart L. Coles 
M. G. Crump 
O. A. Dearman, Jr. 

James M. Deaton 
Paul M. Deaton 
F. H. Dobbins 
Caroll Dooley 
Mrs. Caroll Dooley 
J. Coite Dotson 
William S. Dotson 
Brockman Earle, Jr. 
John B. Earle 
Adlai H. Eliason 
Horace N. Elkins, Jr. 
Mary Louise Ervin 
J. S. Evans, Jr. 
Walter Flanigan 
W. Morris Freeman 
Frank Furches 
Clayton S. Furches 
John M. Gaither, Jr. 
Eddie Galbreath 
Charles Gallyon 
Robin B. Gardner 
Glenn Gibson 
Harry A. Gilbert 

Appendix E 


Walter L. Gilbert, Jr. 
Allen G. Gill 
L. S. Gilliam, Jr. 
J. Morris Gray 
James P. Gray, Jr. 
McDonald Gray, Jr. 
Cecil Graybill 
Ann Grier 
Samuel G. Hall 
William Edward Hall 
Mary Hancock 
Fred F. Harbin 
James S. Harbin 
Walter C. Harbin 
James C. Hill 
Lawrence Hill 
Robert B. Hill 
William R. Hill 
Stamey J. Holland, Jr. 
William D. Holland 

Luther Hunter 

Howard Innes 

W H. Jennings 

Leila D. Johnston 

Lee Keller 

Fred M. Kennerly 

Thomas C. Kennerly 

Vance Kennerly 

Crawford Kimbrell 

J. B. Kimbrell 

William C. Kimbrell 

Thomas Lee Kincaid 

Lester P. King 

J. Allen Knox 

James Allen Knox, Jr. 

Daniel B. Krider, Jr. 

George Lambertson 

L. P. Lane 

Stuart Lazenby 

Frank M. Ledbetter 

John N. Lee 

E. Benton Leinster 

Nosco M. Lewis, Jr. 

Benjamin F. Long 

Dr. Forrest B. Long 
Henry Allison Long 
John Addison Long 
McK. R. Long, Jr. 
Robert Long 
William M. Long 
Zeb Vance Long, Jr. 
Jack Milam 
John L. Milholland, Jr. 
Joseph Henry Miller 
Allen L. Mills, Jr. 
Charles C. Mills, Jr. 
Lonnie Neil Mills, Jr. 
O. R. Mills, Jr. 
Paul Morgan 
William G. Morris, Jr. 
J. Reid Morrison 
W H. Morrison, Jr. 
W. Scarr Morrison, Jr. 
Roland Mundhenke 
L. W MacKesson, Jr. 
John L. McBride, Jr. 
Nathan O. McElwee 
Ross McElwee, Jr. 
William H. McElwee 
E. H. Mcjunkin 
Paul McKenzie 
John R. McLaughlin 
William R. McLaughlin 
Robert McRorie, Jr. 
Pinkney M. Neely 
John H. Nicholson 
Marianna Nicholson 
Charles O'Kelly 
Thomas L. O'Kelly 
Ed Oliver 
Edith Ostwalt 
Fred Oswalt, Jr. 
Hal C. Ostwalt 
Frank Parker 
James Edgar Pharr 
Samuel H. Pinkney 
James T. Poplin 
Howard I. Price 



Dan Purif oy 

Charles Edward Raynal, Jr. 
John Scott Raynal 
Henry Middleton Raynal 
Herman Read Rice, Jr. 
Paul Rhodes 
Randolph Richardson 
Robert M. Rickert 
Charles A. Ritchie 
James E. Ritchie 
Rebecca Ritchie 
Jack T. Roach 
Tunis Romein 
Mrs. Tunis Romein 
Edgar Everitt Scott 
James W. Seville, Jr. 
Walter E. Sherrill, Jr. 
J. Dillon Simpson, Jr. 
James Lawrence Smith 
Robert J. Smith 
John E. Spainhour 
Wilbur Stafford 
Van G. Stauber 
A. Preston Steele, Jr. 
Clarence N. Steele 
F. M. Steele 
James C. Steele 
W. Irvin Steele, Jr. 
David Stevenson 

Morgan Stone 
Angus Stronach 
John O. Tesh 
Bailey Tharpe 
James Edward Tharpe 
Max B. Tharpe 
Dwight L. Turner 
Ira E. Verble 
Mrs. Ira E. Verble 
James B. Vickery 
Mrs. James B. Vickery 
W. I. Ward 
William C. Warlick 
William E. Webb, Jr. 
W. R. Wellborn, Jr. 
John S. White 
Frank E. Whiting 
Isaac Whiting 
James A. Whiting 
Jesse E. Whiting 
Sam P. Whiting 
R. M. Williams, Jr. 
Wade H. Wilson 
William C. Wilson, Jr. 
M. P. Witherington 
Miles C. Wood, Jr. 
Billy Wooten 
Eugene M. Yount 

Appendix E 



Isaac T. Avery, Jr. 
Tommy Batte 
W. E. Battley 
William B. Boyd 
Jack Charles 
Miles A. Cowles 
H. N. Elkins, Jr. 
Walter L. Flanigan 
Edgar L. Fleming 
Frank W. Furches 
R. McDonald Gray 
W B. Gray 
F. F. Harbin 
Ralph T. Holmes, Jr. 
Robert E. Johnston 
J. Wesley Jones, Jr. 

Jasper B. Kimbrell 
Ben F. Long 
John S. Meredith 
O. R. Mills, Jr. 
John R. Murray 
J. H. Nicholson II 
John A. Parks 
Thomas M. Parks 
Francis R. Quis 
Russell B. Rhodes 
Charles A. Ritchie 
Gordon P. Scott, Jr. 
Ben Stimson, Jr. 
Bobby Travis 
Samuel F. Warlick 

In Military Service 

Audrey Barringer (KIA) 
Charles D. Benbow TV 
Stephen W. Bowles 
Allen Brawley, Jr. 
James D. Bruning, Jr. 
Robert C. Canter 
Sam Cathey 
J. R. Charles 
Michael W. Clendenin 
Leroy Coley 
Ross Cowan 
James M. Deaton III 
Tommy G. Deaton 
Robert T. Dickerson 
Leroy C. Earle 


Walter L. Flanigan 

Paul J. Kennedy, Jr. 

Thomas Lee Kincaid, Jr. 

William Lackey 

Ben F. Long, IV 

J. Addison Long, Jr. 

David Meech 

Murray Sims Moseley (KIA) 

Thomas M. Neely 

James J. Patterson 

James E. Pharr, Jr. 

R. M. Price 

Frank Stewart 

Harry B. Underwood 




Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 

Presbyterian Church in the United States 

United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America 

Presbyterian Church of the Confederate States of America 

Synod of North Carolina 

Synod of Virginia 

Presbyteries of Concord, Hanover, Lexington, and Orange 

Session Books of Fourth Creek Presbyterian Church and First 
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1871-1901; Book III 1901-1911; Book IV 1911-1925; Book V 1925- 
1930; Book VI 1930-1945; Book VII 1945-1956; Book VIII 1957-1968; 
Book IX 1968-1975; Book X 1976-1982; Book XI 1982- 

Minutes of the Board of Deacons of First Presbyterian Church, 
Statesville, N.C.: Book 1 1886-1933; Book II 1933-1951; Book III 
1952-1958; Book IV 1959-1969 


Brawley, James S. The Rowan Story 1753-1953. (Salisbury, N.C.: 
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Briggs, Charles A. American Presbyterianism. (New York: Charles 
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Cummings, William P. The Southeastern Early Maps. (Chapel Hill: The 
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Davis, Robert P., et al. Virginia Presbyterians in American Life: Hanover 
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Fleming, John Kerr. History of the Third Creek Presbyterian Church 
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Ford, Henry Jones. The Scotch-Irish in America. (Princeton, N.J.: 
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Foote, William Henry. Sketches of North Carolina Historical and 
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Hanna, Charles A. The Scotch-Irish, or the Scot in North Britain, North 
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Morison, Samuel Eliot The Oxford History of American People (New 
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Ramsey, Robert W. Carolina Cradle, Settlement of the Northwest 

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Rouse, Parke Jr. The Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the South 
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Rumple, Jethro A History of Rowan County in North Carolina 
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The History of Presbyterianism in North Carolina (Richmond, Va.: 
The Library of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1966) 

Saunders, William L. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. IV 
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Thompson, Ernest Trice Presbyterians in the South, Vol. I, II & III 
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Trinterud, Leonard J. The Forming of an American Tradition, a Re- 
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Wilson, John M. The Blessedness of Such as Die in the Lord (Salisbury, 
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Elijah F. Rockwell: Address December 30, 1870 

Charles E. Raynal: in 1933 Church Directory 

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i > 





Form No. A-368. Rev. 8/95 

From the old house to Abraham. Irvins 
south -Smiles and 312 poles, from the some 
place north to Robt Boyd ■ II miles and 

d 6 poles total N-S 
1^ poles 

From o mile norm of the old house to John. Dobbins 
' Bmues and 90poles, from the same place west 

>/zqna.2u JZ t & leom -™P° UiS 

10 ■ 121, ■■ 
S ■■ 90 • 

2"U- Or poles west of one mile and llpoles 
north of the old house is the center of the congregation 

From the 'Meeting House" follow the dotted line north till it 
crosses ihe east- west line, then follow the west dotted line 
v f»*' two miles and thirty- four poles and you arrive at the 

center of the congrego lion 

(At the 'Meeting House'.StatesvLUe was located in 1790. The Court House 
of Iredell County N C )